Video Credit: CEN/@EzeizaPresenta
This is the moment a group of friends unearth the enormous protective shell of an ancient armadillo that roamed the Earth 10,000 years ago.
The group found the Glyptodon, a large, heavily armoured mammal that lived during the Pleistocene epoch and were relatives of present-day armadillos, while fishing in the Porto Alegre creek in the eastern Argentine province of Buenos Aires.
The extinct mammal was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle although slightly flatter in shape.
The find comes four years after the shell of a Glyptodon was found in the same area which is now exhibited at the Tristan Suarez History Museum.
One of the fishermen Imanol Ojeda told local media: “We were fishing and I put my hand in and found this hole. I kept quiet about it for two years and today I showed the guys.”
Local journalist Martin Rodriguez said: “One of the group members contacted me. I don’t think they knew how valuable it was and they innocently kept it secret for years.”
Palaeontologist Oscar Vique said it was a very important discovery because the fossil has been extremely well-preserved.
He added that the Glyptodon probably went to the area to look for water and sank in the mud due to its weight.
Vique confirmed that it had not been killed by a predator, adding: “As it weighed over two tons, it was unable to get out of the hole it was stuck in.”
Experts believe it will take between 10 and 15 days to safely remove the shell of the extinct mammal.
The animal’s remains have been found in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina and it is believed they became extinct 10,000 years ago.
Based on their jaw morphology, Glyptodons were herbivores and they were also hairy with very slow movements due to their size.
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