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Temporal range: Mid-Late Pleistocene
(NALMA: Blancan-Rancholabrean)
(SALMA: Uquian-Lujanian)
~1.8–0.012 Ma
Gyptodon Cosmo Caixa.JPG
Fossil skeleton of H. septentrionalis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cingulata
Family: Pampatheriidae
Genus: Holmesina
Simpson 1930
  • H. floridanus Robertson 1976
  • H. major
  • H. occidentalis Hoffstetter 1952
  • H. paulacoutoi Cartelle & Bohórquez 1985
  • H. rondoniensis
  • H. septentrionalis Leidy 1889

Holmesina is a genus of pampathere, an extinct group of armadillo-like creatures that were distantly related to extant armadillos. Like armadillos, and unlike the other extinct branch of megafaunal cingulates, the glyptodonts, the shell was made up of flexible plates which allowed the animal to move more easily. Holmesina species were herbivores that grazed on coarse vegetation; armadillos are mostly insectivorous or omnivorous.[1]

Holmesina occidentalis
Life reconstruction of Holmesina floridanus.

Holmesina individuals were much larger than any modern armadillo: They could reach a length of 2 metres (6.6 ft), and a weight of 227 kilograms (500 lb), while the modern giant armadillo does not attain more than 54 kilograms (119 lb).[2]


They travelled north during the faunal interchange, and adapted well to North America, like the ground sloths, glyptodonts, armadillos, capybaras, and other South American immigrants. Their fossils are found from Brazil to the United States,[3] mostly in Texas and Florida.


  1. ^ Vizcaíno, S. F.; De Iuliis, G.; Bargo, M. S. (1998). "Skull Shape, Masticatory Apparatus, and Diet of Vassallia and Holmesina (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Pampatheriidae): When Anatomy Constrains Destiny". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 5 (4): 291–322. doi:10.1023/A:1020500127041. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
  2. ^ https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CenozoicLife/conversations/topics/149
  3. ^ "Holmesina Simpson 1930". Paleobiology Database. Retrieved 2014-09-09.

Further reading[edit]

  • J. C. Cisneros. 2005. New Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from El Salvador. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 8(3):239-255
  • P. J. Gaudioso, G. M. Gasparini, and R. M. Barquez. 2016. Paleofauna del Pleistoceno de Termas de Rio Hondo, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Ameghiniana 53(6):54-54
  • J. I. Mead, S. L. Swift, R. S. White, H. G. McDonald, and A. Baez. 2007. Late Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) glyptodont and pampathere (Xenarthra, Cingulata) from Sonora, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas 24(3):439-449