Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I was browsing through the Tetrapod Zoology archives when I rediscovered this brilliant photo of Glyptodon crivapes' skull. Glyptodonts are big armadillo-like xenarthans, although how closely related they are to modern armadillos is a bit hazy. Personally, I think the skull looks a bit more like the skull of, say, Megatherium (giant ground sloth) than a nine-banded armadillo, but of course I know very little about mammalian taxonomy.
Anyway, look at how beautiful that skull is! It looks like it died a few months ago, not millions of years ago! The preservation is astounding. I'd love to see a real "live" glypodont skeleton in a museum.
One more thing, dear readers. Given their bizarrre skulls (look at that jugal flange!), it's incredibly difficult for me to envision their muscular anatomy. Are there any papers, books, etc. which investigates xenarthan cranial musculature? In the meantime, check out this post at Tet Zoo for more information on the Cenozoic's take on ankylosaurs!