- Holmesina septentrionalis
- Giant Armadillo
- Scute/Armor Plate
- Marion County, Florida
- See Scale (in inches) in Photo for Size
The giant armadillo (Holmesina septentrionalis) was huge compared to today’s tiny creature. They had thirty-six teeth and hundreds upon hundreds of bony scutes, both rectangular and pentagonal in shape. Like some other animals, they had four toes on their front feet and three on the back.
Holmesina is a genus of pampathere, an extinct group of armadillo-like creatures that were distantly related to extant armadillos. Like armadillos, and unlike the other extinct branch of megafaunal cingulates, the glyptodonts, the shell was made up of overlapping flexible scutes or armor plates which allowed the animal to move more easily. Holmesina species were herbivores that grazed on coarse vegetation; armadillos are mostly insectivorous or omnivorous. Holmesina individuals were much larger than any modern armadillo: They could reach a length of over 6 feet long, and a weight of 500 lbs, while the modern giant armadillo does not attain more than 54 kg (119 lbs).