The ancient beast with a shell of steel

If you think armadillos are strange animals, wait until you hear about their extinct cousins, the glyptodonts. These huge, herbivorous mammals lived in South and North America from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. The most famous genus of glyptodonts is Glyptodon, which means “grooved or carved tooth” in Greek. It was about the size of a car, weighing up to a ton and measuring up to 2 m (7 ft) in length. Its thick shell of bony plates covered its body and head, protecting it from predators and harsh weather.

Glyptodon was probably a social animal that lived in groups and communicated with sounds. It went extinct about 10,000 years ago, possibly due to climate change and human hunting.