Enter the Animal Hall of Shame: What happened to the Megatherium? Enter the Animal Hall of Shame.
Here at the Platypus, we honour the traditions and beliefs of the animal kingdom. Namely that all animal life should be free from the threat of extinction. Extinction is the one, true greatest evil of all. There is no greater evil (except maybe Cats). So here, in the Animal Hall of Shame, we honour those animals whose lives have been snuffed out by the Homo Sh*tpiens.
What was a Megatherium?
The Megatherium was a species of giant ground sloth. The name means ‘great beast from America’. Megatherium americanum was up to 10 times the size of living sloths reaching weights of up to four tonnes (similar to a present-day bull elephant). On its hind legs, M. americanum would have stood a full 3.5 metres (12 feet) tall.
What did the Megatherium eat?
Despite its magnificent claws, M. americanum was a forward-thinking vegetarian. This has been confirmed through chemical analysis of their teeth. It was able to stand and walk on its hind legs, making it the largest vegetarian bipedal mammal of all time.
What Happened to the Megatherium?
What happened to the Megatherium?
Humans happened. Turns out our ancestors had a penchant for Ground Sloth Burgers and they had been extinct on the mainland of North and South America for 10,000 years or more. But for another 5,000 years, ground sloths survived in remote corners of the world. They weren’t on the continents but scattered through the islands of the Caribbean. There were at least five genera and thirteen species of large ground sloths that were unique to these islands.
Why did the Megatherium go extinct?
They were hunted into oblivion by humans. In fact, human activity caused not only giant sloths to go extinct but many other large mammals in North America just over 11,000 years ago.
Did humans kill all the Megatherium?
Yes, unfortunately, this one really is an open and shut case.
Animal Hall of Shame
What killed the Megatherium?
During the Ice Age, a group of Megatherium died together, possibly after swallowing their own faeces in a contaminated pool of shallow water. Scientists discovered the bones of nearly two dozen ground sloths (Eremotherium laurillardi) in a pit at a fossil-rich site called Tanque Loma in southwestern Ecuador. This is the only group of Megatherium which wasn’t completely wiped about by the great plague known as human expansion.
Is the Megatherium still alive?
Some rumours of giant sloths living deep in the jungles of South America have emerged. However, these rumours were started by the Visit Brazil tourism board so the validity is in question.
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