An ancient species of armored animal that weighed upwards of a ton has recently been identified as part of the armadillo family by an international team of researchers.
Frederic Delsuc, one of the team members of the study, has stated that the creatures, called glyptodonts, “should probably be considered a subfamily of gigantic armadillos.”
This determination was made based on an analysis of 12,000-year-old DNA. The lineage is believed to have branched off about 35 million years ago, resulting in a massive shelled animal, some of which had club-like, spiky tails.
Glyptodonts likely lived in current-day South America until they became extinct around 10,000 years ago. While they are thought to have had a similar shape to today’s armadillos, one marked difference other than size is that their shell was one continuous piece rather than demarcated into segments.