Stephen King Gets Ancient Turtle Species Named After His Iconic Character

By Douglas Helm | Published

stephen king the dark tower

A giant freshwater turtle fossil was recently discovered in Brazil, and the researchers have dubbed it Peltocephalus maturin after the Stephen King turtle character Maturin in his novels. According to the researchers, the fossil is one of the largest freshwater turtles ever found. The shell of the fossil was about 180 cm in length (nearly 6 feet), which is rare and quite a bit larger than the 140 cm and 110 cm shell lengths recorded in modern-day freshwater species.

A Massive Amphibian

Bone samples of the Stephen King character-named turtle were uncovered by gold miners in a quarry in Porto Velho Brazil, before being sent to the Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the University of Georgia. The nearly six-foot length of the species is also what inspired the name. As the researchers talked about them, one researcher and fan of King’s work, Miriam Pacheco, suggested Maturin. It seems a fitting name, as the character is recurring in King’s novels and is typically depicted as a large, wise, and guardian-like figure.

Amazon Turtle

More findings of the Stephen King-inspired turtle revealed that it possibly enjoyed an omnivorous diet and lived in the Amazon rainforest, possibly right on the cusp of the time humans began living in the Americas. Of course, more research is needed and the researchers state that there is more data that needs to be taken from Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene despots in the Amazon basin to confirm the current hypotheses.

Maturin Is Central To King’s Novels

In any case, this fossil is definitely a cool find, and the connection to the Stephen King name makes it even cooler. If you’re unfamiliar with the character of Maturin, he is an ancient turtle that makes appearances in several King novels, including It and the Dark Tower series. His Dark Tower connection is especially important, as he was one of the guardians who held up the Beams of the Dark Tower.

Not To Be Confused With The Other Universe Birthing Turtle


In fact, the Maturin is said to have essentially created Stephen King’s mainstream connected universe in King’s novels, as one of the few times the turtle came out of his shell was to vomit out the universe. Maturin was also mostly a background character in the IT novels, but he did directly provide counsel to the Loser’s Club member Bill. Other than that, Maturin does not often make appearances in King’s universe.

IT Leaves Out Maturin

Even though Maturin is explicitly mentioned in Stephen King’s IT novels, the recent film adaptations did leave the interdimensional turtle out. This makes sense because it would have probably been hard to adapt that kind of character, but that doesn’t mean the film didn’t allude to his existence. There were numerous nods to Maturin in the films including a sticker, a statue, a Lego figure, and other Easter Eggs.

In any case, the Peltocephalus maturin may not be quite as powerful as the Stephen King turtle that it was named after. But it’s still one of the biggest freshwater turtles found, which is nothing to sneeze at. We’ll have to wait and see what else the researchers can find out about it.

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