In some specimens of these genera the horny shields covering the bony scutes of the carapace have been preserved, and since the foramina, which often pierce the latter, stop short of the former, it is evident that these were for the passage of blood-vessels and not receptacles for bristles.
In Propalaeohoplophorus the scutes of the carapace, which are less deeply sculptured than in the larger glyptodonts, are arranged in distinct transverse rows, in three of which they partially overlap near the border of the carapace after the fashion of the armadillos.
The head bears a pair of horn-like scutes, and the scutes of the carapace and tail, which are loosely opposed or slightly overlapping, form a number of transverse rows.
In Central and South America alligators are represented by five species of the genus Caiman, which differs from Alligator by the absence of a bony septum between the nostrils, and the ventral armour is composed of overlapping bony scutes, each of which is formed of two parts united by a suture.
Armadillos alone possess an external bony skeleton, composed of plates of bony tissue, developed in the skin and covered with scutes of horny epidermis.