Ground sloths are a diverse group of extinct sloths in the mammalian superorder Xenarthra. Ground sloths varied widely in size, with the largest genera Megatherium and Eremotherium being around the size of elephants. Ground sloths are a paraphyletic group, as living tree sloths are thought to have evolved from ground sloth ancestors.

Ground sloths
Temporal range: 35–0.005 Ma Late EoceneHolocene
American Museum of Natural History mounts of (from left) Megalocnus rodens, Scelidotherium cuvieri, Megalonyx wheatleyi, Glossotherium robustus
American Museum of Natural History mounts of (from left) Megalocnus rodens, Scelidotherium cuvieri, Megalonyx wheatleyi, Glossotherium robustus
Scientific classificationEdit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Pilosa
Suborder: Folivora

The early evolution of ground sloths took place during the late Paleogene and Neogene of South America, while the continent was isolated. At their earliest appearance in the fossil record, the ground sloths were already distinct at the family level. Sloths dispersed into the Greater Antilles during the Oligocene, and the presence of intervening islands between the American continents in the Miocene allowed a dispersal of some species into North America, They were hardy as evidenced by their high species diversity and their presence in a wide variety of environments, extending from the far south of Patagonia (Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument) to Alaska.[1][2][3] Sloths, and xenarthrans as a whole, represent one of the more successful South American groups during the Great American Interchange after the connection of North and South America during the late Pliocene with a number of ground sloth genera migrating northwards. One genus, Thalassocnus, even adapted for marine life along the Pacific coast of South America during the late Miocene and Pliocene epochs.

Ground sloths abruptly became extinct on the American mainland as part of the Quaternary extinction event at the end of the Pleistocene, around 12,000 years ago along with most other large mammals in the Americas. Their extinction has been posited to be the result of hunting by recently arrived humans and/or climate change.[4][5] A number of kill sites are known where humans butchered ground sloths dating just prior to their extinction.

The Caribbean ground sloths, the most recent survivors, lived in the Antilles, possibly until 1550 BCE. However, radiocarbon dating suggests an age of between 2819 and 2660 BCE for the last occurrence of Megalocnus in Cuba.[6] They survived 5,000–6,000 years longer in the Caribbean than on the American mainland, which correlates with the later colonization of this area by humans.[7]

Families edit

Paleontologists assign more than 80 genera of ground sloths to multiple families.[8]

Megalonychidae edit

The megalonychid ground sloths first appeared in the Late Eocene, about 35 million years ago, in Patagonia. Megalonychids first reached North America by island-hopping, prior to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Some lineages of megalonychids increased in size as time progressed. The first species of these were small and may have been partly tree-dwelling, whereas the Pliocene (about 5 to 2 million years ago) species were already approximately half the size of the huge Late Pleistocene Megalonyx jeffersonii from the last ice age. Some West Indian island species were as small as a large cat; their dwarf condition typified both tropical adaptation and their restricted island environment. This small size also enabled them a degree of arboreality.[9]

Megalonyx, which means "giant claw", was a widespread North American genus that lived past the close of the last (Wisconsin) glaciation, when so many large mammals died out. Remains have been found as far north as Alaska[10] and the Yukon.[11][12] Ongoing excavations at Tarkio Valley in southwestern Iowa may reveal something of the familial life of Megalonyx. An adult was found in direct association with two juveniles of different ages, suggesting that adults cared for young of different generations.[13][14]

The earliest known North American megalonychid, Pliometanastes protistus, lived in the southern U.S. about 9 million years ago and is believed to have been the predecessor of Megalonyx. Several species of Megalonyx have been named; in fact it has been stated that "nearly every good specimen has been described as a different species".[11] A broader perspective on the group, accounting for age, sex, individual and geographic differences, indicates that only three species are valid (M. leptostomus, M. wheatleyi, and M. jeffersonii) in the late Pliocene and Pleistocene of North America,[15] although work by McDonald lists five species. Jefferson's ground sloth has a special place in modern paleontology, for Thomas Jefferson's letter on Megalonyx, read before the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia in August 1796, marked the beginning of vertebrate paleontology in North America.[11] When Lewis and Clark set out, Jefferson instructed Meriwether Lewis to keep an eye out for ground sloths. He was hoping they would find some living in the Western range. Megalonyx jeffersonii was appropriately named after Thomas Jefferson.[11]

Megatheriidae edit

Fossil Eremotherium skeleton, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC.

The megatheriid ground sloths are relatives of the megalonychids; these two families, along with the family Nothrotheriidae, form the infraorder Megatheria. Megatheriids appeared later in the Oligocene, some 30 million years ago, also in South America. The group includes the heavily built Megatherium (given its name 'great beast' by Georges Cuvier[16]) and Eremotherium, which are the largest known ground sloths, thought to have had body masses of 3.5-4 tons.[17] The skeletal structure of these ground sloths indicates that the animals were massive. Their thick bones and even thicker joints (especially those on the hind legs) gave their appendages tremendous power that, combined with their size and fearsome claws, provided a formidable defense against predators.

The earliest megatheriid in North America was Eremotherium eomigrans which arrived 2.2 million years ago, after crossing the recently formed Panamanian land bridge. With more than five tons in weight, 6 meters in length, and able to reach as high as 17 feet (5.2 m), it was larger than an African bush elephant bull. Unlike relatives, this species retained a plesiomorphic extra claw. While other species of Eremotherium had four fingers with only two or three claws, E. eomigrans had five fingers, four of them with claws up to nearly a foot long.[18]

Nothrotheriidae edit

Recently recognized, ground sloths of Nothrotheriidae are often associated with those of the Megatheriidae, and together the two form the superfamily Megatherioidea. The most prominent members of the group are the South American genus Thalassocnus, known for being aquatic, and Nothrotheriops from North America.

The last ground sloths in North America belonging to Nothrotheriops died so recently that their subfossil dung has remained undisturbed in some caves. One of the skeletons, found in a lava tube (cave) at Aden Crater, adjacent to Kilbourne Hole, New Mexico, still had skin and hair preserved, and is now at the Yale Peabody Museum. The largest samples of Nothrotheriops dung can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum. Another Nothrotheriops was excavated at Shelter Cave, also in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.[citation needed]

Mylodontidae edit

Paramylodon harlani, Texas Memorial Museum, University of Texas at Austin

The mylodontid ground sloths together with their relatives the scelidotheriids form the Mylodontoidea, the second radiation of ground sloths. The discovery of their fossils in caverns associated with human occupation led some early researchers to theorize that the early humans built corrals when they could procure a young ground sloth, to raise the animal to butchering size.[19] However, radiocarbon dates do not support simultaneous occupation of the site by humans and sloths.[20] Subfossil remains like coproliths, fur and skin have been discovered in some quantities. The American Museum of Natural History has exhibited a sample of Mylodon dung from Argentina with a note that reads "deposited by Theodore Roosevelt".[21][22][23][24] Mylodontids are the only ground sloths confirmed to have had osteoderms embedded within their skin, though osteoderms were only present in a handful of genera and absent in many others.[25]

Scelidotheriidae edit

The ground sloth family Scelidotheriidae was demoted in 1995 to the subfamily Scelidotheriinae within Mylodontidae.[26][27] Based on collagen sequence data showing that its members are more distant from other mylodontids than Choloepodidae, it was elevated back to full family status in 2019.[28] Together with Mylodontidae, the enigmatic Pseudoprepotherium and two-toed sloths, the scelidotheriids form the superfamily Mylodontoidea. Chubutherium is an ancestral and very plesiomorphic member of this subfamily and does not belong to the main group of closely related genera, which include Scelidotherium and Catonyx.

Phylogeny edit

The following sloth family phylogenetic tree is based on collagen and mitochondrial DNA sequence data (see Fig. 4 of Presslee et al., 2019).[28]


Neocnus dousman

Parocnus serus

Neocnus comes

Acratocnus ye

  (Caribbean sloths)  

Nothrotheriops shastensis


Megatherium americanum


Megalonyx jeffersoni


  5 living spp.

(three-fingered sloths)

Scelidotherium sp.

Scelidodon sp.


  2 living spp.

(two-fingered sloths)

Lestodon armatus

Paramylodon harlani

Mylodon darwinii

Glossotherium robustus

Biology edit

Ground sloths were herbivores, with some being browsers,[29] others grazers,[30] and some intermediate between the two as mixed feeders (both browsing and grazing).[31] Sloths that had longer snouts are presumed to have had greater olfactory acuity, but appear to have also had less binocular vision and poorer ability to localize sounds. A number of extinct sloth species are thought to have had hearing abilities optimized for low frequencies, perhaps related to use of infrasound for communication.[32][33] Some ground sloths are suggested to have dug burrows.[34][35] In many ground sloth families (Megatheriidae, Mylodontidae, Scelidotheriidae and Nothrotheriidae), the hindfoot is inwardly rotated, meaning sole faces inwards and that the body weight was primarily borne on the fifth metatarsus and the calcaneum.[36] Ground sloths were likely able to adopt a bipedal stance while stationary, allowing the forelimbs to be used to grasp vegetation as well as for defence, though whether they were capable of moving in this posture is uncertain.[37] Some authors have suggested ground sloths were largely solitary animals, like living sloths,[38] though other authors have argued that at least some ground sloths are likely to have engaged in gregarious behaviour.[39]

Like living sloths, ground sloths likely only gave birth to a single offspring at a time,[40][41] with likely several years between the birth of offspring. At least some ground sloths engaged in long-term parental care, with one adult (presumably female) Megalonyx found with two juveniles of different ages, with the oldest juvenile suggested to be 3–4 years old.[41]

Extinction edit

A Tamandua anteater in an upright defensive stance similar to those presumed to have been adopted by ground sloths, per trackways preserved in New Mexico
Subfossilized Nothrotheriops shastensis dung in Rampart Cave, Arizona (NPS, 1938)

Radiocarbon dating places the disappearance of ground sloths in what is now the United States at around 11,000 years ago. The Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotheriops shastensis) visited Rampart Cave (located on the Arizona side of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area) seasonally, leaving behind a massive stratified subfossilized dung deposit, and seemed to be flourishing from 13,000 until 11,000 BP, when the deposition suddenly stopped.[42] Steadman et al. argue that it is no coincidence that studies have shown that ground sloths disappeared from an area a few years after the arrival of humans.[7] Trackways preserved in New Mexico (probably dating from 10 to 15.6 thousand years ago) that appear to show a group of humans chasing or harassing three Nothrotheriops or Paramylodon ground sloths may record the scene of a hunt. The tracks are interpreted as showing seven instances of a sloth turning and rearing up on its hind legs to confront its pursuers, while the humans approach from multiple directions, possibly in an attempt to distract it.[43][44][45]

Those who argue in favor of humans being the direct cause of the ground sloths' extinction point out that the few sloths that remain are small sloths that spend most of their time in trees, making it difficult for them to be spotted. Although these sloths were well hidden, they still would have been affected by the climate changes that others claim wiped out the ground sloths. Additionally, after the continental ground sloths disappeared, insular sloths of the Caribbean survived for approximately 6,000 years longer, which correlates with the fact that these islands were not colonized by humans until about 5500 yr BP.[7]

It is difficult to find evidence that supports either claim on whether humans hunted the ground sloths to extinction.[46] Removing large amounts of meat from large mammals such as the ground sloth requires no contact with the bones; tool-inflicted damage to bones is a key sign of human interaction with the animal.[47]

Hunting of ground sloths edit

Kill sites edit

A number of kill sites are known for ground sloths in the Americas, these include Campo Laborde in the Pampas of Argentina, where an individual of Megatherium americanum was butchered at the edge of a swamp, dating to approximately 12,600 years Before Present (BP),[48] with another potential Megatherium kill site being Arroyo Seco 2 in the same region, dating to approximately 14,782–11,142 cal yr BP.[49] In northern Ohio, a Megalonyx jeffersoni skeleton dubbed the "Firelands Ground Sloth" has cut marks indicative of butchery, dating to 13,738 to 13,435 years BP.[50] At the Santa Elina rockshelter in Mato Grosso Brazil, a specimen of Glossotherium is associated with hearths and stone tools, dating to 11,833–11,804 years BP. At Fell's Cave in southern Chilean Patagonia, a specimen of Mylodon with fractured and burned bones associated with human activity has been dated to approximately 12,766–12,354 years BP.[49]

Hunting weapons edit

Humans are believed to have entered the New World via Beringia, a land bridge which connected Asia and North America during the last glacial maximum. Mosimann and Martin (1975) suggested the first of these nomads descended from hunting families who had acquired the skills to track down and kill large mammals.[51] By this time, humans had developed proficient hunting weapons, including the Clovis points, which were narrow, carved stone projectiles used specifically for big game. A couple of hundred years later, the atlatl became widely used, which allowed them to throw spears with greater velocity.[52] These inventions would have allowed hunters to put distance between them and their prey, potentially making it less dangerous to approach ground sloths.

Advantages edit

Certain characteristics and behavioral traits of the ground sloths made them easy targets for human hunting and provided hunter-gatherers with strong incentives to hunt these large mammals.

Ground sloths often fed in open fields.[53] Recent studies have attempted to discover the diet of ground sloths through fossils of their dung. Analysis of these coproliths have found that ground sloths often ate the foliage of trees, hard grasses, shrubs, and yucca; these plants were located in areas that would have exposed them,[54] making them susceptible to human predation. Ground sloths were not only easy to spot, but had never interacted with humans before, so would not have known how to react to them. Additionally, these large mammals waddled on their hind legs and front knuckles, keeping their claws turned in. Their movement and massive build (some weighed up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb)) imply they were relatively slow mammals.[7]

These reasonable after-the-fact inferences from the evidence might explain why ground sloths would have been easy prey for hunters, but are not certain.[55]

Difficulties edit

While ground sloths would have been relatively easy to spot and approach, big game hunters' weapons would have been useless from farther than 9.1 metres (30 ft) away. It would have been difficult to take down a ground sloth with a spear-thrower and would have required extensive knowledge of the species. Additionally, the ground sloths' already thick hide was fortified by osteoderms, making it difficult to penetrate.[47][56]

Since ground sloths thrived in an environment filled with large predators, they evidently would have been able to also defend themselves against human predation, so there is no reason to expect that they would have been "easy pickings". When feeding, they had enough strength to use their long, sharp claws to tear apart tree branches; presumably their strength and formidable claws would be dangerous for hunters that attempted to attack them at close quarters.[57]

References edit

  1. ^ C.M. Hogan (2008)
  2. ^ Stock, Chester (1942-05-29). "A Ground Sloth in Alaska". Science. 95 (2474): 552–553. Bibcode:1942Sci....95..552S. doi:10.1126/science.95.2474.552. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17790868.
  3. ^ McDonald, H.G.; Harington, C.R.; De Iuliis, G. (2000-01-01). "The Ground Sloth, Megalonyx, from Pleistocene Deposits of the Old Crow Basin, Yukon, Canada". Arctic. 53 (3). doi:10.14430/arctic852. ISSN 1923-1245.
  4. ^ Fiedal, Stuart (2009). "Sudden deaths: The chronology of terminal Pleistocene megafaunal extinction". In Haynes, Gary (ed.). American Megafaunal Extinctions at the End of the Pleistocene. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology. Springer. pp. 21–37. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8793-6_2. ISBN 978-1-4020-8792-9.
  5. ^ Mason, Betsy (August 1, 2005). "Humans Drove Giant Sloths to Extinction". Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  6. ^ MacPhee, R.D.E.; Iturralde-Vinent, M.A.; Vázquez, O.J. (June 2007). "Prehistoric Sloth Extinctions in Cuba: Implications of a New 'Last' Appearance Date". Caribbean Journal of Science. College of Arts and Sciences, University of Puerto Rico. 43 (1): 94–98. doi:10.18475/cjos.v43i1.a9. S2CID 56003217. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d Steadman, D.W.; Martin, P.S.; MacPhee, R.D.E.; Jull, A.J.T.; McDonald, H.G.; Woods, C.A.; Iturralde-Vinent, M.; Hodgins, G.W.L. (2005-08-16). "Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths on continents and islands". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. United States National Academy of Sciences. 102 (33): 11763–11768. Bibcode:2005PNAS..10211763S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0502777102. PMC 1187974. PMID 16085711.
  8. ^ Modified from McKenna & Bell (1997)
  9. ^ J.L. White (1993)
  10. ^ Stock, C. (29 May 1942). "A ground sloth in Alaska". Science. AAAS. 95 (2474): 552–553. Bibcode:1942Sci....95..552S. doi:10.1126/science.95.2474.552. PMID 17790868.
  11. ^ a b c d Harrington (1993)
  12. ^ McDonald, H.G.; Harington, C.R.; de Iuliis, G. (September 2000). "The Ground Sloth Megalonyx from Pleistocene Deposits of the Old Crow Basin, Yukon, Canada" (PDF). Arctic. Calgary, Alberta: The Arctic Institute of North America. 53 (3): 213–220. doi:10.14430/arctic852. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  13. ^ Semken and Brenzel, Archived 2009-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Semken; Brenzel (2007). "One Sloth Becomes Three". Newsletter of the Iowa Archeological Society. 57: 1.
  15. ^ Kurtén & Anderson, 1980, p. 136.
  16. ^ G. Cuvier (1796)
  17. ^ McDonald, H. Gregory (2023-06-06). "A Tale of Two Continents (and a Few Islands): Ecology and Distribution of Late Pleistocene Sloths". Land. 12 (6): 1192. doi:10.3390/land12061192. ISSN 2073-445X.
  18. ^ De Iuliis and Cartelle (1999)
  19. ^ A. S. Woodward (1900)
  20. ^ Naish, Darren (28 Nov 2005). "Fossils explained 51: Sloths". Geology Today. Geologists' Association, Geological Society of London and Blackwell Publishing. 21 (6): 232–238. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2005.00538.x. S2CID 85808869. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  21. ^ Bell, C.M. (2002). "Did elephants hang from trees? - the giant sloths of South America". Geology Today. 18 (2): 63–66 (see p. 66). Bibcode:2002GeolT..18...63B. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2451.2002.00334.x. S2CID 130426084.
  22. ^ Roosevelt, T.R. (1915-01-04). "Letter from Theodore Roosevelt to George Herbert Sherwood". Dickinson State University. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  23. ^ "Roosevelt Collections". American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  24. ^ Warren, D. (2016-05-28). "The ground sloth". Essays in Idleness. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  25. ^ McDonald, H. Gregory (December 2018). "An Overview of the Presence of Osteoderms in Sloths: Implications for Osteoderms as a Plesiomorphic Character of the Xenarthra". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 25 (4): 485–493. doi:10.1007/s10914-017-9415-8. ISSN 1064-7554. S2CID 254697023.
  26. ^ "Scelidotheriinae, basic info". PaleoBiology Database.
  27. ^ Gaudin, T.J. (1995-09-14). "The Ear Region of Edentates and the Phylogeny of the Tardigrada (Mammalia, Xenarthra)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 15 (3): 672–705. Bibcode:1995JVPal..15..672G. doi:10.1080/02724634.1995.10011255. JSTOR 4523658.
  28. ^ a b Presslee, S.; Slater, G.J.; Pujos, F.; Forasiepi, A.M.; Fischer, R.; Molloy, K.; et al. (2019). "Palaeoproteomics resolves sloth relationships" (PDF). Nature Ecology & Evolution. 3 (7): 1121–1130. Bibcode:2019NatEE...3.1121P. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0909-z. PMID 31171860. S2CID 174813630.
  29. ^ Saarinen, Juha; Karme, Aleksis (June 2017). "Tooth wear and diets of extant and fossil xenarthrans (Mammalia, Xenarthra) – Applying a new mesowear approach". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 476: 42–54. Bibcode:2017PPP...476...42S. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.03.027.
  30. ^ van Geel, Bas; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F.N.; Nooren, Kees; Mol, Dick; den Ouden, Natasja; van der Knaap, Pim W.O.; Seersholm, Frederik V.; Rey-Iglesia, Alba; Lorenzen, Eline D. (January 2022). "Diet and environment of Mylodon darwinii based on pollen of a Late-Glacial coprolite from the Mylodon Cave in southern Chile". Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. 296: 104549. Bibcode:2022RPaPa.29604549V. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2021.104549. S2CID 239902623.
  31. ^ Pujos, François; Gaudin, Timothy J.; De Iuliis, Gerardo; Cartelle, Cástor (September 2012). "Recent Advances on Variability, Morpho-Functional Adaptations, Dental Terminology, and Evolution of Sloths". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 19 (3): 159–169. doi:10.1007/s10914-012-9189-y. hdl:11336/69736. ISSN 1064-7554. S2CID 254701351.
  32. ^ Blanco, R.E.; Rinderknecht, A. (2012). "Fossil evidence of frequency range of hearing independent of body size in South American Pleistocene ground sloths (Mammalia, Xenarthra)". Comptes Rendus Palevol. 11 (8): 549–554. Bibcode:2012CRPal..11..549B. doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2012.07.003.
  33. ^ Blanco, R.E.; Jones, W.W. (2014). "Estimation of hearing capabilities of Early Miocene sloths (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Folivora) and palaeobiological implications". Historical Biology. 28 (3): 390–397. doi:10.1080/08912963.2014.946415. S2CID 84691573.
  34. ^ Yizcaino,S.F.,Zdrate, M., Bargo, M.S., & Dondas, A. 2001. Pleistocene burrows in the Mar del Plata area (Argentina) and their probable builders. - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 46, 2, 289-301
  35. ^ Lopes, Renato Pereira; Frank, Heinrich Theodor; Buchmann, Francisco Sekiguchi de Carvalho; Caron, Felipe (2017-04-03). "Megaichnus igen. nov.: Giant Paleoburrows Attributed to Extinct Cenozoic Mammals from South America". Ichnos. 24 (2): 133–145. Bibcode:2017Ichno..24..133L. doi:10.1080/10420940.2016.1223654. hdl:11449/162902. ISSN 1042-0940. S2CID 133305289.
  36. ^ H.G. McDonald Biomechanical inferences of locomotion in ground sloths: integrating morphological and track data. New Mexico Mus Nat. Hist. Sci. Bull., 42 (2007), pp. 201-208
  37. ^ Toledo, Nestor; Arregui, Mariano (2023-02-01). "Concurrent evidence from ichnology and anatomy: the scelidotheriine ground sloths (Xenarthra, Folivora) from the Pleistocene of Argentina". Historical Biology. 35 (2): 284–292. Bibcode:2023HBio...35..284T. doi:10.1080/08912963.2022.2035379. ISSN 0891-2963. S2CID 246698665.
  38. ^ Borrero, Luis Alberto; Martin, Fabiana María (March 2012). "Ground sloths and humans in southern Fuego-Patagonia: taphonomy and archaeology". World Archaeology. 44 (1): 102–117. doi:10.1080/00438243.2012.646145. ISSN 0043-8243. S2CID 86180858.
  39. ^ Tomassini, Rodrigo L.; Montalvo, Claudia I.; Garrone, Mariana C.; Domingo, Laura; Ferigolo, Jorge; Cruz, Laura E.; Sanz-Pérez, Dánae; Fernández-Jalvo, Yolanda; Cerda, Ignacio A. (2020-07-02). "Gregariousness in the giant sloth Lestodon (Xenarthra): multi-proxy approach of a bonebed from the Last Maximum Glacial of Argentine Pampas". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 10955. Bibcode:2020NatSR..1010955T. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-67863-0. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 7331707. PMID 32616813.
  40. ^ Pujos, François; De Iuliis, Gerardo; Vilaboim Santos, Luciano; Cartelle, Cástor (2023-07-11). "Description of a fetal skeleton of the extinct sloth Nothrotherium maquinense (Xenarthra, Folivora): Ontogenetic and palaeoecological interpretations". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 30 (3): 577–595. doi:10.1007/s10914-023-09665-5. ISSN 1064-7554. S2CID 259892230.
  41. ^ a b Semken, Holmes A.; Gregory McDonald, H.; Graham, Russell W.; Adrain, Tiffany; Artz, Joe Alan; Baker, Richard G.; Bryk, Alexander B.; Brenzel, David J.; Arthur Bettis, E.; Clack, Andrew A.; Grimm, Brittany L.; Haj, Adel; Horgen, Sarah E.; Mahoney, Meghann C.; Ray, Harold A. (2022-06-30). "Paleobiology of Jefferson's Ground Sloth ( Megalonyx jeffersonii ) derived from three contemporaneous, ontogenetically distinct individuals recovered from Southwestern Iowa, U.S.A." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 42 (1). Bibcode:2022JVPal..42E4115S. doi:10.1080/02724634.2022.2124115. ISSN 0272-4634. S2CID 253258474.
  42. ^ Martin, P.S. (2005). "Chapter 4. Ground Sloths at Home". Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age extinctions and the rewilding of America. University of California Press. pp. 85–87. ISBN 0-520-23141-4. OCLC 58055404. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  43. ^ Garisto, D. (2018-04-25). "Footprints prove humans hunted giant sloths during the Ice Age". Science News. Society for Science & the Public. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  44. ^ Stock, M. (2018-04-25). "Giant sloth vs. ancient man: fossil footprints track prehistoric hunt". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  45. ^ Bustos, D.; Jakeway, J.; Urban, T.M.; Holliday, V.T.; Fenerty, B.; Raichlen, D.A.; Budka, M.; Reynolds, S.C.; Allen, B.D.; Love, D.W.; Santucci, V.L.; Odess, D.; Willey, P.; McDonald, H.G.; Bennett, M.R. (2018-04-25). "Footprints preserve terminal Pleistocene hunt? Human-sloth interactions in North America". Science Advances. 4 (4): eaar7621. Bibcode:2018SciA....4.7621B. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aar7621. PMC 5916513. PMID 29707640.
  46. ^ Villavicencio, N.A.; et al. (2016). "Combination of humans, climate, and vegetation change triggered Late Quaternary megafauna extinction in the Última Esperanza region, southern Patagonia, Chile" (PDF). Ecography. 39 (2): 125–140. Bibcode:2016Ecogr..39..125V. doi:10.1111/ecog.01606. S2CID 16109915. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-02.
  47. ^ a b Borrero, L.A.; Martin, F.M. (2012). "Ground sloths and humans in southern Fuego-Patagonia: Taphonomy and archaeology". World Archaeology. 44 (1): 102–117. doi:10.1080/00438243.2012.646145. S2CID 86180858.
  48. ^ Politis, Gustavo G.; Messineo, Pablo G.; Stafford, Thomas W.; Lindsey, Emily L. (March 2019). "Campo Laborde: A Late Pleistocene giant ground sloth kill and butchering site in the Pampas". Science Advances. 5 (3): eaau4546. Bibcode:2019SciA....5.4546P. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aau4546. ISSN 2375-2548. PMC 6402857. PMID 30854426.
  49. ^ a b Bampi, Hugo; Barberi, Maira; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S. (December 2022). "Megafauna kill sites in South America: A critical review". Quaternary Science Reviews. 298: 107851. Bibcode:2022QSRv..29807851B. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107851. S2CID 253876769.
  50. ^ Redmond, Brian G.; McDonald, H Gregory; Greenfield, Haskel J.; Burr, Matthew L. (March 2012). "New evidence for Late Pleistocene human exploitation of Jefferson's Ground Sloth ( Megalonyx jeffersonii ) from northern Ohio, USA". World Archaeology. 44 (1): 75–101. doi:10.1080/00438243.2012.647576. ISSN 0043-8243. S2CID 161436888.
  51. ^ Mosimann, J.E.; Martin, P.S. (May–June 1975). "Simulating overkill by paleoindians: Did man hunt the giant mammals of the New World to extinction? Mathematical models show that the hypothesis is feasible". American Scientist. 63 (3): 304–313. JSTOR 27845466.
  52. ^ Raymond, A. (1986). "Experiments in the function and performance of the weighted atlatl". World Archaeology. 18 (2): 153–177. doi:10.1080/00438243.1986.9979996. S2CID 56904522.
  53. ^ Bargo, M.S. (2001). "The ground sloth Megatherium americanum: Skull shape, bite forces, and diet" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 46 (2): 173–192. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  54. ^ Poinar, H.N.; Hofreiter, M.; Spaulding, W.G.; Martin, P.S.; Stankiewicz, B.A.; Bland, H.; Evershed, R.P.; Possnert, G.; Pääbo, S. (1998). "Molecular coproscopy: Dung and diet of the extinct ground sloth Nothrotheriops shastensis". Science. 281 (5375): 402–406. Bibcode:1998Sci...281..402P. doi:10.1126/science.281.5375.402. PMID 9665881. S2CID 7577657.
  55. ^ Martin, P.S. (2005). Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age extinctions and the rewilding of America. University of California Press. pp. 33, 87, 139. ISBN 0520231414. OCLC 58055404. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  56. ^ Naish, Darren (30 August 2012). "The anatomy of sloths". Scientific American. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  57. ^ Lull, Richard S. (1931). Fossils: What they tell us of plants and animals of the past. New York, NY: University Society.

Sources edit

  • Cuvier, G. (1796). "Notice sur le squellette d'une très grande espèce de quadrupède inconnue jusqu'à présent, trouvé au Paraquay, et déposé au cabinet d'histoire naturelle de Madrid". Magasin encyopédique, ou Journal des Sciences, des Lettres et des Arts. 1: 303–310.; (2): 227–228.

External links edit