And the recent fossils of South America, including monster ground sloths and giant armadillo-like glyptodonts
, were obviously more closely related to the modern biota of South America than to those of other continents.
Paleontologists have long suspected that glyptodonts
(illustrated above) are related to modern armored mammals.
Our study focuses on the case of glyptodonts
, an extinct group related to armadillos and sloths that originated in South America.
Also, like other Central American late Pleistocene mammal assemblages, the El Hatillo mammals are almost all large edentates and ungulates, and are a nearly equal mixture of South American (glyptodonts
, sloths, toxodonts) and North American (horses, peccaries, deer, proboscideans) immigrants.
Washington, August 12 ( ANI ): A new study has revealed that Earth is still recovering from the loss of giant sloths and armadillo-like glyptodonts
and others massive beasts of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago.
Members of the Xenarthra (Order Cingulata: armadillos, glyptodonts
, pampatheres; Order Pilosa: anteaters, sloths), have long been regarded as noteworthy among mammalian species for the uniqueness of their dentition, both in structure and dental formula.
Within a couple thousand years, North America had lost all its mammoths, mastodons, giant ground-cloths, tapirs, camels, llamas, glyptodonts
, giant beavers and other large species.
This new fossil vertebrate assemblage was recovered from a test-pit excavation that includes 46 bird species (Steadman and Rincon, 2007); bats (Czaplewski et al., 2005); canids (Prevosti and Rincon, 2007); saber tooth cats (Rincon, 2006); equids (Rincon et al., 2006); armadillos, pampatheres, glyptodonts
(Rincon et al., 2008); ground sloths, camelids, mastodonts (McDonald et al., 1999); and nine rodent species (Rincon, 2005).
Additionally, the glyptodonts
were armadillo-like animals that measured up to sixteen feet long and carried hard, turtle-like shells on their backs, the only mammals so protected.
Mastodons fed on trees and shrubs in both the boreal and tropical rain forests of the New World while giant ground sloths and glyptodonts
fed in Mexican deserts (Janzen 1986).
Among the discoveries unveiled, Denver airport is situated on the site of what was once a vast grazing ground for wildlife, while the sunshine state of Florida was inhabited by giant sloths and armoured glyptodonts
Very large herbivores once were common in most of the world--mastodons, woolly mammoths, jumbo rhinos, glyptodonts
(armadillos about the size of a car), ground sloths as big as elephants.