What If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct?


An Alternate historyWhat If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct?
The glyptodon is an extinct mammal, distantly related to modern armadillos. 

It lived during the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs, which took place 5.3 million to just under 12 thousand years ago. 

That’s quite a long time to be on planet earth, and they didn’t go extinct that long ago either.
What If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct?
What If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct?- whatifhub.com

They disappeared right around the time of the ice age, but the change in climate on planet earth wasn’t the only reason glyptodons are no longer with us. 

Glyptodon lived at the same time as early humans and definitely interacted with them. 

It is believed that the glyptodon went extinct because they were hunted by humans. 

But what if the glyptodont didn’t go extinct, and managed to live on until modern day.


How would it have changed the ecosystems, environment, and human civilization? 

That’s what we’re going to talk about, right now on whatifhub.com. Hello and welcome back to whatifhub.com.

Darwin is known for finding the first glyptodont fossils, but they were first mentioned in Europe in 1823 in Cuvier’s Ossemens Fossiles. 


Like its armadillo cousins, the glyptodon was encased in a hard, thick, protective armor. 

They were pretty large, and could grow to be up to 3 meters or 11 feet long, 4.9 feet high and weighed up to a ton, which is about as much as a car. 

And it sort of had the build of a car too, a voltswagon beatle specifically.


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glyptodon- whatifhub.com

Glyptodons also had an armored tail with spikes on it that it may have used to club predators or other glyptodons. 


But glyptodons weren’t predators; they were herbivores and ate mostly plants and insects. 

They also had stubby, turtle-like legs, which meant that they couldn’t travel very fast. 

But the glyptodont didn’t really need to be able to get around quickly to get away from predators, it had virtually no predators because its armor was virtually impenetrable. 

And it’s strong tail was strong enough that it could shatter the backs of other glyptodons.

BUT, If you happened to flip a glyptodon onto its back, it would have a lot of trouble getting up, and its soft underbelly would have been exposed. 


So maybe there were predators that figured that out, mainly, humans. 

Humans were likely the main cause for the glyptodon’s extinction. It was likely hunted for its meat, as well as its shell. 

There is evidence to suggest that South American settlers used the glyptodon’s shell as a shelter. 

Pun very much intended. Fossils for the glyptodon have been found all over north and south America. 

From southern Brazil to Uraguay to Argentina, the glyptodont had a large habitat. 

So, if the glyptodon hadn’t gone extinct, they would have continued to be hunted by both early and modern humans.


Glyptodons would have had to have been quite numerous to not go extinct if they were constantly hunted by humans. 


Glyptodon meat, as well as glyptodon products, would be readily available. It's very possible that their shells if they were big enough, could have been used as a small but durable house. 

They were only 4.5 feet tall, but if they hadn’t gone extinct, It's likely we would have seen evidence of entire aboriginal communities where the huts were glyptodon shells. 

Imagine it, rows upon rows, towns, and cities made up entirely of glyptodon shells.


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If you managed to get past a mama glyptodont, which would have been very difficult, The shells of young glyptodons would have been used for bowls and pottery. 


We would have seen evidence of many different South American cultures having an obsession with them. 

Glyptodon jewelry, artwork, rituals, songs. Modern environmentalists and animal rights activists would not have allowed the glyptodon to go extinct, it would have been protected. 

There would be wildlife reserves where the glyptodon could roam free, and maybe even safaris that would allow tourists to observe them.

In terms of the environment and ecosystems, it’s likely that the glyptodon wouldn’t have changed much. 


It was a herbivore, after all, and in South America, particularly the Amazon, there are plenty of plants to go around. 

Sadly, like many other animals, humans hunted the glyptodont to the point of extinction. Without our reckless disregard of the well-being of earth’s creatures, giants like the glyptodont would still exist today.
What If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct? What If The Glyptodon Didn't Go Extinct? Reviewed by What IF on February 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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