Jeffersons Ground Sloth

Megalonyx jeffersonii


Jefferson's Ground Sloth Skeleton

Jeffersons Ground Sloth was widely distributed in North America, reaching as far as Alaska. They migrated from Central America during the Miocene Period to Florida. They were a distant relative of today’s 2-3 foot tree sloths that lives in South America. No one is sure if these Giant Ground Sloths moved as slowly as their modern cousins do.

This Prehistoric Ground Sloth had a height of 10ft. (3M). Bear-like in size, with long hair, it fed on a herbivores diet of twigs, shrubs and leaves. This megafauna mammal lived in moist forests. It had a wide and strong tail to give it support when reaching for taller branches while foraging for food. Its teeth may have been designed to strip leaves off of trees and it’s very large and long claws were used for digging tubers.

Fossil Megalonyx Sloth Tooth
Prehistoric Fossil Megalonyx Sloth Tooth
Giant Fossil Megalonyx Sloth Tooth

The shape of the hip bone gives evidence to the fact that this ice-age mammal could stand up on their back legs which gave them a decisive advantage for reaching higher leaves. This Prehistoric Creatures protection came mainly from its size and large claws. Megalonyx jeffersonii became extinct about 11,000 Years ago.


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