Height: 5 feet
Weight: 1.5 tonnes
- Adult (both sexes): Head, feet and tail spikes are a dark beige, while the rest of the animal are a brownish gray.
- Juvenile (both sexes): Infants are born a pinkish color until their shells start to harden.
Diet: Grass, low-lying plants. Doedicurus sometimes uses its blunt claws to dig up roots.
Preferred Habitat: Floodplains and Lowland Forests.
Social Structure: Solitary/ family groups.
This giant glyptodont armadillo is well-protected from predator attacks with a helmet-like arrangement of armor on its head, and a shell of dome-shaped body-armour made from interlocking scutes an inch thick. Underneath these bony plates is a deep layer of fat which acts like padding; this serves as an energy supply like a camel’s hump but it also helps to cushion heavy blows. All this armor weighs down the Doedicurus significantly and so it is a slow, lumbering animal, sometimes causing it to get stuck on marshy ground or wedged within crevices.
Somewhat resembling a mammalian Ankylosaurus; as well as its body armor Doedicurus also sports a ball of solid bone at the end of its long tail, studded with large spikes. This mace-like weapon can weigh up to 163 pounds, and is used to fend off attacking predators such as Smilodon. Male Doedicurus also use their spiked tail clubs to batter one another during the breeding season, inflicting considerable damage to their armoured shells. However, thanks to its chain-mail-like armour and cushioning inner fat, the armadillo’s bones and internal organs are left unharmed.