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HomeUncategorizedStudy Reveals Prehistoric Humans Influenced Extinction of Giant Armadillos

Study Reveals Prehistoric Humans Influenced Extinction of Giant Armadillos


Unlike modern armadillos, which weigh no more than 80 kilograms, scientists have estimated that glyptodonts weighed between 350 and 380 kilograms.

A team of paleontologists and archaeologists analyzed the damage to glyptodont skulls, the giant armadillos that lived more than 15,000 years ago, found in present-day Venezuela and concluded that they were caused by humans using stone tools or wooden sticks, according to a study published in Swiss Journal of Paleontology.

Unlike modern armadillos that do not exceed 80 kilograms, scientists have Glyptodonts were estimated to weigh between 350 and 380 kilograms, of which approximately 150 to 170 kilograms were fat and muscle. However, like their current relatives, they lived only in South and North America.

These slow and harmless herbivorous mammals appeared in the Pliocene, were abundant during the Pleistocene and it is estimated that they became extinct about 11,700 years ago.

Based on the latest findings, experts believe that prehistoric humans were involved in its extinction. In addition, they point out that this is one of the few evidences of interactions between man and glyptodonts outside the Patagonian region.

Thus, the researchers studied with the help of a computed tomography six skulls of glyptodonts found s in the archaeological sites of Venezuela: a skull from Muaco and five from Taima-Taima, dating between 19810-17420 BC. C. and from 17300-15780 a. C., respectively.

In four skulls, the scientists found damage to the parietal and nasal lobe region, an area in which the carapace of the head was quite thin. The remains show a consistent pattern of breakage in that area and these same skulls do not show breakages in other equally fragile parts that would normally be affected by mechanical effects ‘post mortem’ and during the fossilization process. The lack of associated lower jaws in excellent preservation also demonstrates that the death of these animals was violent.

The authors suggest that due to their great mass and the slowness of their movements, the Giant armadillos were desirable and easily hunted prey for the planet’s ancient inhabitants.


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