In 2015, Jose Antonio Nievas went for a walk on his family farm in Argentina on Christmas Day and made history. His farm is located 25 miles south of Buenos Aires, so it’s not the most remote location. But Jose found something that doesn’t even look like to belongs on earth! Near a riverbed, Jose found what appeared to be a huge black egg.
He rushed home to tell his family about this discovery. Jose’s wife, Reina Coronel said the whole family laughed when Jose said he had found a dinosaur egg.
At first, no one could tell how big the egg was because it was buried in mud.
After Jose dug around it was measured to be 3 feet wide – too large to be a dinosaur egg.
The shell was the armor of a Glyptodon, which was a member of the armadillo family that lived during the Ice Age.
Over 10,000 years ago, South America was teeming with these animals; they were herbivores.
Fossil records indicate that they resembled Volkswagen Beetles and weighed about as much as one too.
The specimen that Jose had found was in excellent condition, which is rare because of its age.
No two shells are alike each Glyptodon shell has its own special pattern, just like fingerprints.
The armor helped to protect the Glyptodon from predators. Fossils from the Glyptodon cousins have been found in Brazil and Uruguay.
The Glyptodons tails were armored too. Paleontologists believe that means that they fought each other.
These animals were so powerful that they could crush an opponent’s shell. Each Glyptodon shell was made out of about 1,000 bony plates.
They had stout legs, huge shoulders, and a fused vertebrae to help carry their weight. It is common to think of them as turtles, but experts say that is not quite accurate.
The two animals had different ancestry but did adapt to their environments in similar ways.
The Glyptodon wasn’t able to tuck its head inside their shell, but they did have a bone cap.
The shell Jose found had some damage which is making experts think that it was caused by a battle with another Glyptodon.
Even though the shell was large, it most likely came from a juvenile. Adult Glyptodons could grow up to six feet wide.
Some people were skeptical of the find, but several experts have claimed it is authentic. The one thing that puzzles the experts is the hole in the shell.
It doesn’t look like it was from a fight but appears to have happened more recently.
Glyptodons died out at the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago. Isn’t it exciting to think that there are still fossils buried out there waiting to be found?