|Lived||2.5 million-10,000 years ago|
Glyptodon (grooved or carved tooth) was a large, armoured mammal that looked a lot like an armadillo. It gave its name to the family of glyptodonts. They lived during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, from about 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago.
Glyptodon looked similar to tortoises or armadillos, although they are only related to the latter. Its most distinguishing feature was a large shell which was composed of over 1000 scutes, each 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) thick. Like human fingerprints, each Glyptodon's scute pattern was different. The tail of Glyptodon was also armoured, though separate from the shell. To support the weight of all this armor, they had massive limbs and a strong shoulder girdle.
Some have speculated that heavy muscle attachments in Glyptodon's nasal passage would have supported a short trunk like a tapir. However, this idea has not been accepted at present.
A full grown Glyptodon could reach 4 metres long, 1.5 metres high and 3 tonnes, about the size and shape of a Volkswagen Beetle automobile.
Classification and HistoryEdit
Although Glyptodon evolved in South America, it is often depicted with North American animals such as woolly mammoths. This is because when the two continents joined, animals from both areas crossed the bridge and created a new ecosystem. Glyptotherium was a closely related genus of Glyptodon, and did reach North America during this time.
Glyptodon, and most of the American megafauna, became extinct by about 10,000 years ago. It is believed that humans hunted these animals and used their bony shells as shelters during inclement weather.
DietEditGlyptodon was a herbivore. It had deep jaws with attachments for strong muscles, which would allow it to chew tough plants.
Several Glyptodon appear in the Ice Age series of movies. They were also a common staple in many old books about dinosaurs (even though they were entirely unrelated) and the ice ages.
- ↑ Fidalgo, F., et al. (1986) "Investigaciones arqueológicas en el sitio 2 de Arroyo Seco (Pdo. de Tres Arroyos, prov. de Buenos Aires, República Argentina)" In: Bryan, Alan (ed.) (1986) New evidence for the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas Peopling of the Americas Symposia Series, Center for the Study of Early Man, University of Maine, Orono, Maine. pp. 221-269
- ↑ David Lambert and the Diagram Group. The Field Guide to Prehistoric Life. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985. pp. 196.
- ↑ David Lambert and the Diagram Group. The Field Guide to Prehistoric Life. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985. pp. 196. ISBN 0-8160-1125-7
- ↑ Woodburne, Michael (2010). "The Great American Biotic Interchange: Dispersals, Tectonics, Climate, Sea Level, and Holding Pens". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 17 (4): 245–264. doi:10.1007/s10914-010-9144-8Open Access. http://www.springerlink.com/content/35576417v5723n02/.
- ↑ http://paleodb.org/cgi-bin/bridge.pl
- ↑ Politis, Gustavo G. and Gutierrez, Maria A. (1998) "Gliptodontes y Cazadores-Recolectores de la Region Pampeana (Argentina)" ("Glyptodonts and Hunter-Gatherers in the Pampas Region (Argentina)") Latin American Antiquity 9(2): pp.111-134 in Spanish