Peltephilus, the horned armadillo, enters the LRT

Updated June 18, 2021
with the realization that the premaxilla had a ventral / palatal exposure as in Holmesina, a taxon added later.

Peltephilus ferox is close to the base of the armadillos and a sister to Holmesina.

Figure 1. Peltephilus skull, manus and pes. There are 3 premolars and 3 molars present, the standard pattern for sister taxa. Extant armadillos have long, narrow rostra with an elongate premaxilla and 7 cone-shaped identical teeth none of which extend below the orbit.  Two species / specimens are shown here. Line art is from Vizcaino and Farina 1997,

Figure 1. Peltephilus skull, manus and pes. There are 3 premolars and 3 molars present, the standard pattern for sister taxa. Extant armadillos have long, narrow rostra with an elongate premaxilla and 7 cone-shaped identical teeth none of which extend below the orbit.  Two species / specimens are shown here. Line art is from Vizcaino and Farina 1997,

According to
Wkiipedia, “Peltephilus ferox (Ameghino 1887‭; 1.5 m long) the horned armadillo, is an extinct species of dog-sized, armadillo xenarthran mammal which first inhabited Argentina during the Oligocene epoch, and became extinct in the Miocene epoch. Notably, the scutes on its head were so developed that they formed horns protecting its eyes. Aside from the horned gophers of North America, it is the only known fossorial horned mammal. Although it had traditionally been perceived as a carnivore because of its large, triangular-shaped teeth, Vizcaino and Farina argued in 1997 that Peltephilus was a herbivore.”

Postcranially
Peltephilus had transverse bands of ossified armor along the back. It had short legs and large claws, ideal for digging or ripping open ant colonies.

References
Ameghino F 1894. Enumeration Synoptique des especes de mammiferes fossiles des formations Eocenes de Patagonie. Boletin de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias en Cordoba (Republica Argentina) 13:259-452
Ameghino F 1897. Mamiferos Cretaceos de la Argentina. Segunda contribucion al conocimiento de la fauna mastologica de las capas con restos de Pyrotherium. – Boletin Instituto Geografico Argentino 18:406-521.
Vizcaino SF and  Farina RA 1997. Diet and locomotion of the armadillo Peltephilus: a new view. Lethaia, 30, 79-86.

wiki/Peltephilus

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