Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT


Glyptotherium is an extinct genus of mammal related to the armadillo. Glyptodontids lived about 4.1 to 1.5 million years ago. It is believed this genus was wiped out by climate change or perhaps early human interference, although there is no direct evidence of humans preying on them.

Species of this genus thrived in tropical and subtropical regions of Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Arizona. The genus was named in 1903, and assigned to the family Glyptodontinae in 1995.

Like its living relative, the armadillo, Glyptotherium had a shell which covered its entire body, similar to that of a turtle. However, unlike the turtle’s shell, Glyptotherium shells were made up of hundreds of small six-sided scales. Some species within this genus grew up to six feet long and its armor possibly weighed up to 2,000 pounds.