Glyptodonts

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Glyptodonts

 

(Glyptodontidae), extinct mammals of the order Edentata, related to the armadillos. They existed from the early Eocene to the Pleistocene. Their size varied greatly, with the largest reaching a length of 2 m. The body of the glyptodont was covered with bony shields or a solid shell like that of the turtle. The short limbs had broad, hoof-like claws. The skull was small; there were no incisors or canine teeth, and the tall, prismatic teeth indicate a diet of coarse vegetation. Glyptodonts were distributed primarily in South America and also in the southern part of North America during the Pliocene and Pleistocene.

REFERENCES

Osnovy Paleontologii: Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1962.
Romer, A. S. Paleontologiia pozvonochnykh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. Pages 342-44. (Translated from English.)
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The only known preserved predator attack on a large armored xenarthran is that of two elliptical punctures in the roof of the skull of a young glyptodont from the Blancan 111 Ranch locality in Arizona made by the canines of a large machairodont felid (sabertoothed cat; Gillette and Ray, 1981).
With the nature of the dense bony armor that glyptodonts and pampatheres share, it would be unlikely that the dire wolf would have pursued adult, armored, cingulate xenarthrans as prey.
According to Dr Blanco, of the Faculty of Science in Montevideo, Uruguay, "We concluded several large species of glyptodonts used the tail clubs mainly for powerful blows in ritualised fighting but the small species used the tail clubs also in other situations as defence against predators.
Photo: Two types of mammals that became extinct in North America about 11,000 years ago were the giant sloth and the armadillo-like glyptodonts.
Apart from long-extinct animals, like mammoths and glyptodonts, there were also some familiar faces which survived the test of time - the muskoxen, cougar and bison.
Mastodons fed on trees and shrubs in both the boreal and tropical rain forests of the New World while giant ground sloths and glyptodonts fed in Mexican deserts (Janzen 1986).
Within a couple thousand years, North America had lost all its mammoths, mastodons, giant ground-cloths, tapirs, camels, llamas, glyptodonts, giant beavers and other large species.
Additionally, the glyptodonts were armadillo-like animals that measured up to sixteen feet long and carried hard, turtle-like shells on their backs, the only mammals so protected.
Washington, August 12 ( ANI ): A new study has revealed that Earth is still recovering from the loss of giant sloths and armadillo-like glyptodonts and others massive beasts of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago.
Very large herbivores once were common in most of the world--mastodons, woolly mammoths, jumbo rhinos, glyptodonts (armadillos about the size of a car), ground sloths as big as elephants.