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An Ancient Tiling Problem

This menacing creature is Glyptotherium texanum.  Well, was Glypotherium texanum.

Glyptotherium Texanum

The armor caught my attention.  It’s made of small plates that create an interesting tiling of a curved surface.

Glyptotherium Texanum up close

Notice how the tiles slowly change from quadrilaterals to pentagons to hexagons, and back again!  I wonder what factors determine the shape of each tile as they grow.

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