20,000 year old armadillos the size of VW Beetles:
A farmer stumbled upon the graveyard containing fossilized shells of four massive Glyptodonts, with the largest being the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.
The remains were discovered in a dried-out riverbed near the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires – at first only two were spotted, but two more were found while paleontologists excavated the site.
Researchers believe the group consist of two adults and two young animals, but further testing will determine cause of death, sex and weight of the remains.
Juan de Dios Sota made the discovery while taking his cows out to graze near a river, Metro reported.
He noticed two strange formations in a dried-out river bed and after taking a closer look, he knew he had stumbled upon something amazing and notified officials.
Pablo Messineo, one of the archaeologists at the scene, said: ‘We went there expecting to find two glyptodonts when the excavation started and then two more were found!’
‘It is the first time there have been four animals like this in the same site.’
‘Most of them were facing the same direction, like they were walking towards something.’
Glyptodonts are the early ancestors of our modern armadillos that lived mostly across North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch.
The creatures were encased from head to tail in thick, protective armour resembling in shape the shell of a turtle but composed of bony plates much like the covering of an armadillo.
The body shell alone was as long as 5 feet and as thick as two inches.
It used its tail as a weapon – like a club – as the tip had a bony knob at the end that was sometimes spiked.
The group discovered in Argentina are believed to be two adults and two young animals, but experts are set to conduct further testing to determine the age, sex and cause of death for each of the fossilized Glyptodonts.