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Friday August 19, 2022

Tortoise and her egg unearthed at Pompeii ruins

By AFP
June 25, 2022

ROME: Archaeologists at Pompeii have discovered the remains of a small, pregnant tortoise, who died before Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 and destroyed the city.

The 14-centimetre (5.5-inch) long reptile provides more clues to the final phase of the city, which was being rebuilt after an earthquake in AD62. The pregnant "Testudo hermanni" appears to have buried into a ruined, unused shop as a safe space to lay her egg but died with her egg still inside her.

"The animal’s intrusion was not noticed by those in charge of the shop’s refurbishment and its remains were covered up unseen," the Pompeii archaeological park said in a statement. Pompeii saw large-scale rebuilding after the powerful quake, which caused major damage.

"When many houses were being rebuilt -- the whole city was a building site -- evidently some spaces were so little utilised that wild animals could move around and enter and try to find a place to lay eggs," said Pompeii’s director general, Gabriel Zuchtriegel.

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