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Prehistoric Giant Armadillo Shell Found In Argentina

Dec 30, 2015 05:23 PM EST
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A large shell that once belonged to a giant prehistoric kind of armadillo was recently found along a riverbed in Argentina but locals who stumbled upon it at their farm in Carlos Spegazzini, south of Buenos Aires, Argentina, originally mistook it for a dinosaur egg. 

"My husband [Jose Antonio Nievas] went out to the car and when he came back he said, 'Hey, I just found an egg that looks like it came from a dinosaur,' " Reina Coronel told AFP. "We all laughed because we thought it was a joke." (Scroll to read more...) 

(Photo : AFP )
Prehistoric armadillo shell found along a riverbank in Argentina.

Experts believe the shell belongs to a giant armadillo, scientifically known as a glyptodont. This prehistoric animal once roamed the swamps of South America, between two million and 10,000 years ago. Glyptodons are the ancestors of modern armadillos that are characterized by a large, round armored dome on its back, squat legs, and a short head and neck. They were herbivores that weighed up to a ton and could grow to be ten feet long. 

"There is no doubt that it looks like a glyptodont," paleontologist Alejandro Kramarz of the Bernadino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum said. "The animal became extinct thousands of years ago and it is very common to find their fossils in this region." 

The recently found shell was dated to be roughly 10,000 years old. 

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