Request from Museum for a Picture of a Glyptodon
At Everything Dinosaur, we get lots and lots of requests for information and advice from all over the world. We do our best to help everyone who contacts us, whether it is the Mum of a dinosaur mad little girl, wanting a quiz for her daughter, or a palaeontologist at a dig site requesting an update on a model.
Take yesterday, evening as an example, we received a number of emails from locations such as the USA, Canada, France and of course from people in the UK. One of the requests we received was from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. They requested an image of a Glyptodon that they knew we had. Glyptodonts were heavily armoured mammals that lived in the Americas (originated in South America), during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. The last of their kind became extinct approximately 10,000 years ago. The Glyptodonts belong to a bizarre group of primitive, placental mammals called the Xenarthrans (name means strange joints). The name refers to the strange extra joints that these mammals have between their vertebrae. Charles Darwin reported on a number of Xenarthran fossils whilst he visited South America on his famous voyage of discovery. He studied the fossilised armour of Glyptodonts and even had a Xenarthran fossil named in his honour – an extinct sloth.
Sloths, anteaters and armadillos are extant representatives of the Xenarthrans.
An Image of a Glyptodon
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
To view a scale model of a Glyptodon and dinosaur models: Prehistoric Mammal Toys for Boys and Girls – Dinosaur Models
Glyptodonts are certainly strange looking creatures, the largest kinds such as Doedicurus and Panochthus, were the size of cars and would have weighed over 1,000 kilogrammes.
Glyptodon was named and described by the famous English anatomist and scientist Sir Richard Owen in 1839. He based much of his work on the information and fossils provided by Charles Darwin from his voyage on the Beagle.