Giant Sloths Existed
Giant sloths, known scientifically as Megatherium, roamed Earth until about 10,000 years ago. These enormous relatives of modern sloths could reach the size of an elephant.
Distinct Sloth Features
Despite their size, giant sloths retained sloth-like features: long claws, and slow metabolism. However, their large size meant they were ground-dwelling, unlike their tree-loving cousins.
Herbivore or Carnivore?
Traditionally thought to be herbivores, some evidence suggests giant sloths may have been opportunistic carnivores, scavenging or hunting when the situation allowed.
Surviving Environmental Changes
Giant sloths adapted to various climates over millions of years, from tropical forests to cold, arid environments, showcasing their remarkable versatility.
Their extinction is a puzzle. Overhunting by humans and climate change are leading theories. But some argue for a combination of factors, including disease and habitat fragmentation.
Fossils reveal much about their life. Notably, preserved dung has been found, offering insights into their diet and environment, and even their gut microbiome.
Giant sloths have influenced human culture. Ancient humans perhaps depicted them in rock art, and they continue to spark our curiosity in paleontology and anthropology.