Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fossils of tank-like mammal, Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, found in the Andes mountains

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This artist's rendering shows Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, a newly discovered extinct armadillo relative that lived about 18 million years ago in South America.

Scientists searching for fossils high in the Andes mountains in Chile unearthed the remains of this tank-like mammalthat grazed on grasses 18 million years ago in South America. It was about 200 pounds (90 kg) and 2-1/2 feet long (76 cm).

It was a primitive member of a line of heavily armored mammals that culminated in the massive, impregnable Gyptodon, a two-tonne, 10-foot (3 meters) long beast covered in armored plates and a spiky tail that lived until 10,000 years ago.

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