Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Glyptodon: Giant Relatives of the Armadillo

I was browsing the news before signing off for the evening when I followed a link to slideshow-esque article about an Argentinian farmer finding a Glyptodon fossil buried in his field. I won't link to the article in question, because I despise articles formatted that way, and only shear fascination got me through that click-fest to learn of the Glyptodon. As soon as I had the name of the creature I closed that window and searched for more, better-formatted, information about it. I'd never heard of the creature before, but it was a genus of large, armored mammals that are like giant armadillos. Unsurprising, they are relatives of the armadillo, and they went extinct thousands of years ago, but likely coexisted with humans for some times. Unsurprisingly, their fate is debated, as with other megafaunal extinction: was it hunting, climate change, or both? Some have speculated on humans of yore using the shells of dead ones as shelters.

By Heinrich Harder (1858-1935) - The Wonderful Paleo Art of Heinrich Harder, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1143767

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