Turtles of the total clade Pan-Carettochelys have a relatively poor fossil record that extends from the Early Cretaceous. The clade is only found in Asia during the Cretaceous, but spreads to Europe and North America during the Eocene. Neogene finds are restricted to Europe, Africa and Australia, whereas the only surviving species, Carettochelys insculpta, lives in New Guinea and the Northern Territories of Australia. The ecology of fossil pan-carettochelyids appears similar to that of the extant C. insculpta, although more primitive representatives were likely less adapted to brackish water. Current phylogenies only recognize three internested clades: Pan-Carettochelys, Carettochelyidae and Carettochelyinae. A taxonomic review of the group concludes that of 25 named taxa, 13 are nomina valida, 7 are nomina invalida, 3 are nomina dubia, and 2 are nomina nuda.
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