Giant Ground Sloth Tooth
- Pleistocene Epoch (Last Ice Age): 40,000- 20,000 years old.
- Species: Megatherium americanum.
- Found in the Southeast United States.
- This is a section of a sloth tooth.
- This fossil has been stabilized.
- Fossil measures 2-3/8" x 2" x 3/4"
* More Information *
Megatherium is an extinct genus of ground sloths endemic to South America that lived from the Early Pliocene through the end of the Pleistocene. It is best known for the elephant-sized type species M. americanum, sometimes called the giant ground sloth, or the megathere, native to the Pampas through southern Bolivia during the Pleistocene. Various other smaller species belonging to the subgenus Pseudomegatherium are known from the Andes. Megatherium is part of the sloth family Megatheriidae, which also includes the similarly elephantine Eremotherium, which was native to tropical South America and southern North America. Only a few other land mammals equaled or exceeded M. americanum in size, such as large proboscideans and the giant rhinoceros Paraceratherium. Megatherium was first discovered in 1788 on the bank of the Luján River in Argentina. The holotype specimen was then shipped to Spain the following year wherein it caught the attention of the paleontologist Georges Cuvier, who was the first to determine, by means of comparative anatomy, that Megatherium was a sloth. Megatherium became extinct around 12,000 years ago during the Quaternary extinction event, which also claimed most other large mammals in the New World. The extinction coincides with the settlement of the Americas, and a kill site where a M. americanum was slaughtered and butchered is known, suggesting that hunting could have caused its extinction.
Giant Ground Sloth Tooth Section
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