Did this shell belong to an ancient giant armadillo? 3ft fossil found in Argentina may have protected 10,000-year-old glyptodont

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For many of us, a stroll over the Christmas holidays is relatively uneventful but for one man in Argentina, his jaunt was much more exciting.

After popping out for some fresh air, farmer Jose Antonio Nievas stumbled across what experts believe are the remains of a prehistoric giant.

The 3ft (one metre) long shell discovered on a riverbank near a local farm may be from a glyptodont – a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo.

Jose Antonio Nievas discovered a three foot (one metre) long shell (pictured) on a riverbank in Argentina which may be from a glyptodont – a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo

Jose Antonio Nievas discovered a three foot (one metre) long shell (pictured) on a riverbank in Argentina which may be from a glyptodont – a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo

While there is a chance the shell is a hoax because it hasn’t been studied directly by experts, Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum, London, told MailOnline: ‘I think it is quite likely this is genuine.’

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‘The shell looks like a genuine glyptodont shell, and the hole is «wear and tear», not where the head or tail went,’ he explained.

At first, Mr Nievas thought the black scaly shell was a dinosaur egg when he saw it in the mud, his wife Reina Coronel said.

But a palaeontologist who studied the pictures later said it belonged to an ancient ancestor of the armadillo.

Alejandro Kramarz of the Bernadino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum exclaimed: ‘There is no doubt that it looks like a glyptodont.’

Because the shell looks so perfect for its age of some 10,000 years, some believe it may be a hoax

Because the shell looks so perfect for its age of some 10,000 years, some believe it may be a hoax.



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