As my final post on this series on xenarthrans, I’m going to highlight a group of xenarthrans that no longer exists: the glyptodonts.
Scientists estimate that glyptodonts lived approximately 23 million to 10,000 years ago, inhabiting the New World, like all xenarthrans. As is clear from the photos, glyptodonts looked much like the offspring of an armadillo and a tank, becoming much larger than their armadillo cousins. Some even possessed clubs on their tails, similar to ankylosaurs.
Reconstruction of Doedicurus
Though they were truly gigantic beasts, they appeared to be grazers based on their teeth and jaw morphology. Their armor and large size may have been particularly important in protecting them from predators due to their terrible vision.
Questions for creationists
Where did the glyptodonts go? Why are their smaller armadillo cousins still around? How did these massive animals cross the Atlantic ocean after dispersing from Noah’s ark?