Definition of glyptodont in English:



  • A fossil South American edentate mammal of the Cenozoic era, related to armadillos but much larger. Glyptodonts had fluted teeth and a body covered in a thick bony carapace.

    Family Glyptodontidae, order Xenarthra (or Edentata): several genera, including Glyptodon

    • ‘In North America these included mammoths and mastodon, giant ground sloths, and glyptodonts.’
    • ‘Lions encounter woolly mammoths, a jaguar attacks a bone-plated glyptodont, and a sabre-toothed cat comes off somewhat worse for wear following a confrontation with a humble skunk.’
    • ‘In South America, he discovered the bony plates of glyptodonts - creatures reminiscent of armadillos, but much larger - and (at a separate site) the fossil bones of giant ground sloths.’
    • ‘The armadillo-like glyptodont, for example, was the size of a small car, covered in plates of body armor, and equipped with a hefty tail club.’
    • ‘The living armadillos of South America bore a striking resemblance to fossil glyptodonts, extinct armored mammals whose fossils occurred in the same area.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek gluptos ‘carved’ (from gluphein ‘carve’) + odous, odont- ‘tooth’.