Venezuelan paleontologist Ascanio Rincon shows the skull of a glyptodont found in Venezuela, in Caracas on August, 30, 2013.

Under the Venezuelan rich soil lies more than oil: paleontologists have found traces of an armadillo the size of a Volkswagen, a crocodile bigger than a bus, a mastodon of six tonnes and a saber-toothed tiger. Now, they walk after the human fossil. (AFP Photo/Juan Barreto)

Happy National Fossil Day!!! Here in the photo archives one of our favorite fossils is the Glyptodont because he gets to walk around with his own portable dark room.

What’s your favorite fossil?

© The Field Museum, GEO79991.

Glyptodont skeleton. Glyptodont were  large, armored mammal of the family Glyptodontidae, a relative of armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene epoch.

8x10 negative


Posterior vertebrae from the glyptodont Eosclerocalyptus cf. lineatus showing marks that appear to have come from the large raccoon relative Chapalmalania altifrontis. The 25–30 kg (55–66 lbs) Chapalmalania has typically been compared to bears, but de los Reyes (2013) suggests it could have had hyena-like bone crushing abilities. 

de los Reyes, M. et al. (2013) First evidence of scavenging of a Glyptodont (Mammalia, Glyptodontidae) from the Pliocene of the Pampean region (Argentina): taphonomic and paleoecological remarks. Palaeontologia Electronica 16(2). Available



… was a large, armored mammal of the family Glyptodontidae, a relative of armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. It was roughly the same size (up to 3.3 m and 2 tons) and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, though flatter in shape. With its rounded, bony shell and squat limbs, it superficially resembled turtles, and the much earlier dinosaurian ankylosaur, as an example of the convergent evolution of unrelated lineages into similar forms.

Glyptodon is believed to have been an herbivore, grazing on grasses and other plants found near rivers and small bodies of water. Glyptodon originated in South America. During the Great American Interchange, a set of migrations that occurred after North and South America were connected by the rising of the volcanic Isthmus of Panama, it migrated into Central America as far as Guatemala. A related genus, Glyptotherium, reached the southern region of the modern USA about 2.5 million years ago. They became extinct about 10,000 years ago. The native human population in their range is believed to have hunted them and used the shells of dead animals as shelters in inclement weather…

(read more: Wikipedia)             (images: T - Pavel Riha; B - Arent)

so for my bio class we had to take notes on like Darwin’s discoveries on the Galápagos Islands. There was this crazy boring paragraph on how Darwin was like “this armadillo… looks like a glyptodont… what is life”, so I was like subconsciously scribbling stuff to procrastinate my notes on the paragraph. Then today in class we had to show the teacher our work in our notebooks. I went up to show her mine, and then suddenly her face was confused, then she bursted out laughing. I looked at my notebook to see what was funny and I realized I had written “oh no she glyptodidnt” at the bottom of the page

A glyptodont went up against a saber toothed marsupial. The glyptodont was barely phased, the saber tooth, not so lucky.

Moral of the story… never mess with a glyptodont.

© The Field Museum, GEO80218 thru GEO80221

Glyptodont with a big tail club, is shown using its club against the sabertoothed marsupial. Preliminary sketch painting by John Conrad Hansen Hall 38 Case 36.

8x10 negatives


just2spoopy replied to your post: “oh muh gawrsh hi new followers hi how are you whats yr favorite…”:

hiii! I have a lot of fave dinosaurs, but I think my current #1 is the ankylosaurus, because it has an awesome knobby tail and a pangolin-like/turtle-y shell! :D

oh gosh, if you like those, then you would probably dig their miocene mammalian counterparts if you havent heard of em already


a glyptodont