Like its living relative, the armadillo, glyptotheriums had a shell which covered its entire body, but similar to a turtle could tuck its head in. Covered in small six-sided scales. Some species grew up to six feet long and its armor weighed up to a ton. Remains of glyptotherium or ‘groove carved beast’ have been found in tropical and subtropical regions of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Central America, and Mexico. It was also found in the southern United States from Florida and South Carolina to Arizona. Unlike some of the other south American species glyptotherium is the only known North American glyptodont.
Smilodon or other cat; dog or lion, the right size, and brave enough may have had distinctive elliptical advantage(s):
Puncture marks on fossils best match those of the sabretooth cat, indicating that the predator successfully risked biting into bone to kill the armored herbivore. This was the only option available for a predator intent on hunting such heavily armored critters. Found in Arizonia, the head scared glyptotherium in question was a juvenile, with a still-developing head shield.
Fossils attributable to glyptotherium were found as early as the 1870s. Civil engineers J. N. Cuatáparo and Santiago Ramírez collected a skull, nearly complete carapace, and associated postcranial skeleton of a glyptodont from a drainage canal near Tequixquiac, Mexico.
In 1888/89 Edward drinker cope found skeleton remains in Nueces County, Texas; and, DeSoto County, Florida.
Taxonomy: Glyptotherium was named by Osborn in 1903, from pliocene Blancan Beds in Llano Estacado, Texas. Its confusing but not much was known from the partial skeletons. Glyptodontinae was assigned by Osborn (1903), Brown (1912), Carroll (1988), Downing and White in (1995), Cisneros (2005) and Mead et al. (2007) .
Remains have also been unearted from pleistocene deposits in Jalisco, Mexico.
“Grove carved beasts” lived to around 7,000 years ago.
Size, weight and difference in species(2):
Glyptotherium reached up to 2 meters (6.56 feet) long and 400 kilograms (880 pounds) in weight, making it one of the largest glyptodonts. It was not as large as its close relative Glyptodon or Doedicurus, the largest known of the glyptodont(s). That were found in south and central America.
Glyptotherium weights and sizes vary, but G. texanum was smaller and lighter than the later species, G. cylindricum. One specimen of G. cylindricum was estimated at 350-380 kilograms, compared to 457 kg of its relative Glyptodon reticulatus.
Glyptotherium texanum differs from G. cylindricum in the configuration of the external sculpturing of symmetrical, hexagonal osteoderms in the dorsal carapace. In the osteoderms of adult G. texanum, the central figures of the osteoderms are flat or weakly convex and very large, while those of G. cylindricum are flat or concave and much smaller.
Biology and physical description:
Glyptotherium is considered an example of north American megafauna. They were very graviportal. They had short limbs that are similar to those in other glyptodonts. Like its living relative, the armadillo, the ‘groove carved beast’ had a shell that covered its entire torso, with smaller armor also covering the skull roof of the head, similar to a turtle. However, unlike the carapace of a turtle, ‘groove or carved beast’ shell was made up of hundreds of small hexagonal scales. Shells had been found preserved with more than 1800 osteoderm markings. This axial skeleton of glyptodonts show extensive fusion in the vertebral column and the pelvis too. Which is fused to the carapace. The large tails served as a counterbalance. And, composing of 2-3 fused tubes, there caudal armor ended in a blunt tube they could use as a swinging weapon.
Glyptotherium was primarily a grazer, but also had a mixed diet of fruits and other plants, that lived on open grasslands. The armor could protect the animal from predators, of which many existed. Including “saber-tooth cats” smilodon; “bone-crushing dogs” borophagus; and, flat nosed bear arctotherium.
Eyesight did you know? rod monochromacy is a rare condition characterized by the absence of cone photo receptor cells in the eyes of vertebrates. It results in colorblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light conditions. Also: blindness in bright-light conditions. Glyptotherium and many of the glyptodents had this. There tough carapace and osteoderms probably made up for it.
Extinction: Glyptotherium or “groove carved beasts” may have been wiped out by climate change or human interference. Around 7,000 years ago.
Battle axe, Disease, and pathologies:
Because it was thicker, there caraspace and osteoderm shieldings were less flexible than those of modern armadillos. There is evidence it used its tail as a club. Especially during twilight or evening battles when its eyesight wasn’t handicapped. Skeletal analysis identified of joints indicated this. As well as “groove carved beast” shielding from predators. Many that survived had arthritis.
Paleoecology may have varied across regions and its 2 species. Glyptotherium was primarily a grazer in forested grasslands and arboreal savannahs. They may have also preferred grasslands near water sources. In Guatemalas high altitudes, they were even found. Showing they are highly adaptable. Supported by diet, and these conditions, skeletons have been found all over. In tropical, subtropical, forested, and even semi-aquatic environments.
Relationship with humans:
The first report of possible human consumption or interaction with glyptotherium or its fossils came in 1958, where several osteoderms that were possibly consumed by humans were described from the Clovis site in Lewisville, Texas. There have also been documented cases of tribal leaders covered in or decorated with glypotherium dating back to indiginous north American tradition. Wow, who knew the “groove carved beast” were so cool.