STL Science Center

STL Science Center

29 April 2017

A Mammalian Tank

Good evening sports fans (I have been watching hockey today) and dinosaur fans. We are going to get back to dinosaurs soon, but this week we are going to look at a well armored mammal that I saw, remembered, and noticed I have never discussed on here at the Field Museum on Monday. A genus of the curious Xenarthran animals of South America, Glyptodons are armored animals with large curved teeth and an armadillo-like shell around its body. This should not be a surprise when I say that armadillos are close living relatives of the now extinct Glyptodons. Regardless of name recognition, the visual of a Glyptodon is typically quickly and readily identifiable; this may be the first time for some being able to place a name with the animal. Glyptodon tails are different across the genus, but we will see that their thoracoabdominal armor is fairly conservative across time and evolution.

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