Scientists say that 240-million-year-old fossils unearthed in a quarry in southern Germany represent the grandfather of all turtles, which looked like an odd lizard with a bulky body and had only the skeletal precursor of a shell.

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of the oldest known turtle, an 8-inch (20-cm) Triassic Period reptile combining traits of its lizard-like ancestors with a set of emerging turtle-like features.