Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 133–154 | Cite as

Ontogeny and Sexual Dimorphism of Glyptotherium texanum (Xenarthra, Cingulata) from the Pliocene and Pleistocene (Blancan and Irvingtonian NALMA) of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico

  • David D. Gillette
  • Óscar Carranza-Castañeda
  • Richard S. WhiteJr
  • Gary S. Morgan
  • Larry C. Thrasher
  • Robert McCord
  • Gavin McCullough
Original Paper


North American glyptodonts originated from South American ancestors during the Great American Biotic Interchange no later than early Blancan North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA). A substantial expansion in population samples from the late Blancan 111 Ranch fauna of southeastern Arizona, several late Blancan faunas in New Mexico, and the early Blancan–Irvingtonian faunas of Guanajuato, Mexico, permit, analysis of sexual dimorphism and ontogeny of Glyptotherium texanum Osborn, 1903. Growth of carapacial osteoderms was allometric, including changes of the external sculpturing. Overall anatomy of the carapace changed with growth, with development of distinctive pre-iliac and post-iliac regions in lateral profile of adults. Skulls of adults possess a unique boss on the anterior surface of the descending process of the zygomatic arch that is not present in juveniles. Sexual dimorphism involves differences in anatomy of lateral and posterior osteoderms. Glyptotherium arizonae Gidley, 1926, is a junior synonym of G. texanum. The temporal distribution of G. texanum extends from early Blancan NALMA to Irvingtonian NALMA, with geographical distribution from Central America and Mexico to southern United States.


Glyptotherium Glyptodonts Cingulata Xenarthra Blancan Irvingtonian 



We are grateful for extraordinary cooperation of the Safford field office and the Albuquerque regional office of the Bureau of Land Management (U. S. Department of Interior) in the management of our permits and field activities. We thank the legion of volunteers of the Southwest Paleontological Society from the Arizona Museum of Natural History led by Sherman Mohler; Arizona Western College led by Fred Croxen, and students from Northern Arizona University who assisted with fieldwork and laboratory preparation of specimens recovered from 111 Ranch. We are grateful to the staff and administration of the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Northern Arizona for their support and encouragement. Donations to the Geology Department Research Fund at MNA from George Congreve, David Jones, Chuck Kluth, Fred Peterson, Frank and Carol Thomas, Chevron Oil, and Exxon Mobil provided financial and logistic support for this research. We owe a substantial debt of gratitude to the Arizona Fish and Game Department, which has allowed us the use of their housing facilities at Cluff Ranch, Pima, Arizona for the past 12 years, and Scott and Joe Alder for use of their heavy equipment. Tim Walters and Ellis Black deserve special recognition for their hard work and genius in solving big problems in the field. We thank Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, proyectos PAPIIT IN106311 y IN109814-3, Grant N° 3443-86 from the National Geographic Society, and The Earth Watch Institute for the support on the Mexican Megafauna project. In addition, we thank biologist Hilda Troncoso Altamirano for laboratory preparation of the specimens from Guanajuato, Jesús Silva for photography, and Richard McMichael for assistance with the figures. Ron Blakey kindly granted permission to use his Pliocene paleogeographic reconstruction of North America in Fig. 2. We appreciate the two anonymous reviews, which substantially improved this paper.

Supplementary material

10914_2015_9309_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13.5 kb)
10914_2015_9309_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 16.1 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Gillette
    • 1
  • Óscar Carranza-Castañeda
    • 2
  • Richard S. WhiteJr
    • 3
  • Gary S. Morgan
    • 4
  • Larry C. Thrasher
    • 5
  • Robert McCord
    • 6
  • Gavin McCullough
    • 6
  1. 1.Museum of Northern ArizonaFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Centro de GeocienciasUniversidad Nacional Autonoma de MexicoQueretaroMexico
  3. 3.International Wildlife MuseumTucsonUSA
  4. 4.New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.Bureau of Land ManagementSaffordUSA
  6. 6.Arizona Museum of Natural HistoryMesaUSA

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