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Prehistoric Giant Armadillo Shell Found In Argentina

First Posted: Dec 31, 2015 11:08 AM EST

On Christmas day, a passer-by found what appeared to be a meter-long shell on a riverbank in Argentina, which likely belongs to a glyptodont, which is a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo, experts announced.

"There is no doubt that it looks like a glyptodont," Alejandro Kramarz, a paleontologist of the Bernadino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum, said in a news release. "The animal became extinct thousands of years ago and it is very common to find their fossils in this region."

Kramarz calimed that the shell is relatively young and it is about 10,000 years old.

The passerby was identified as a local man, Jose Antonio Nievas who assumed that the black scaly shell belonged to a dinosaur egg, which was laying around in the mud, according to Reina Coronel, the man's wife who spoke with AFP.

Nievas discovered the strange shell near a close by stream at their farm house in Carlos Spegazzini, which is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south Argentina's capital Buenos Aires.

"My husband went out to the car and when he came back he said, 'Hey, I just found an egg that looks like it came from a dinosaur," Coronel said. "We all laughed because we thought it was a joke."

Experts who saw images of the shell said that it is likely a glyptodont shell. Glyptodonts are the ancestors of modern armadillos. Glyptodonts had shells that weighed close to a ton and they roamed the territories of South America millions of years ago.

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