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Temporal range: Maastrichtian
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Bothremydidae
Subfamily: Bothremydinae
Tribe: Bothremydini
Subtribe: Bothremydina
Genus: Zolhafah
De Broin & Werner, 1998
Z. bella
Binomial name
Zolhafah bella
De Broin & Werner, 1998

Zolhafah is an extinct genus of bothremydid pleurodiran turtle that was discovered in the Western Desert of Egypt. The genus consists solely of type species Z. bella.[1]


Zolhafah was discovered in the Ammonite Hill Member of the Dakhla Formation, Egypt, which dates back to the Maastrichtian.[1]


The preserved skull of Zolhafah is 7.2 centimetres in length. Its describers note that it differs from Bothremys and Rosasia by its slightly more rounded snout, with the posterior section of the skull being shortened. Similar to Bothremys, its choanae are at the same level as the triturating surface of the palate. It also differs from Bothremys and Rosasia by many small details, such as a frontal longer than its prefrontal, elongated orbits smaller than those of Rosasia and larger than those of Bothremys', and a higher anterior premaxillary surface. The occipital condyle is slightly posterior to the quadrate's articular process, similar to Rosasia and Bothremys. The skull is the only element from the Ammonite Hills locality that can be positively assigned to Zolhafah.[1]


The etymology of Zolhafah's name is derived from the Arabic salifhafa "turtle", and the Latin bella "beautiful".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d de Broin, France de Lapparent; Werner, Christa (April 1998). "New late Cretaceous turtles from the Western Desert, Egypt". Annales de Paléontologie. 84 (2): 131–214. doi:10.1016/S0753-3969(98)80005-0.