Humans hunting a glyptodon

Glyptodon is part of the placental group of mammals known as Xenarthra. This order of mammals includes anteaters, tree sloths, extinct ground sloths, extinct pampatheres, and armadillos.

Glyptodon came from South America. A related genus, Glyptotherium, first appeared in the south-west of the modern USA about 2.5 million years ago as a result of the Great American Interchange.

These herbivores (plant-eaters) would not have been vulnerable to the Sparassodont carnivores of the day. The native human population in their range is believed to have hunted them and used the shells for shelter in bad weather.[1][2]


  1. Fidalgo F. et al. 1986. Investigaciones arqueológicas en el sitio 2 de Arroyo Seco (Pdo. de Tres Arroyos, prov. de Buenos Aires, República Argentina) In: Bryan, Alan (ed) New evidence for the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas. Peopling of the Americas Symposia Series, Center for the Study of Early Man, University of Maine, Orono, Maine. 221-269, in Spanish. ISBN 0-912933-03-8
  2. Politis, Gustavo G. and Gutierrez, Maria A. 1998. Gliptodontes y Cazadores-Recolectores de la Region Pampeana (Argentina) (Glyptodonts and Hunter-Gatherers in the Pampas Region (Argentina), in Spanish. Latin American Antiquity 9(2): 111-134
  • David Lambert and the Diagram Group. 1985. The field guide to prehistoric life. New York: Facts on File Publications. ISBN 0-8160-1125-7
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