Megatherium was a very large giant ground sloth of Pliocene and Pleistocene South America.

Facts

A member of the Xenarthran family of mammals (along with Doedicurus), Megatherium had huge claws, grew to 6–8 meters long from nose to tail, weighed more than an elephant, and usually ate vegetation, but it was also large enough and strong enough to occassionlly supplement its diet with carrion scavenged from predators, and when it wanted to, nothing got in its way

Megatherium with Macrauchenia in the background.

As big as an elephant, it lived in South America during the Pliocene-Pleistocene periods alongside Smilodon, Doedicurus, and other South American megafauna.

A Megatherium about to feed on a Hippidion carcass.

Megatherium had armor-plated skin for defense and powerful clawed forelimbs for attack. Regardless of that, Megatherium died out around 8,000 years ago, during the Holocene time period.



In Walking With... series

Walking with Beasts

Saber Tooth

A giant ground sloth eating plants

A pair of Megatherium is shown feeding on trees, while Half-Tooth the Smilodon gives them a wide berth. Then, another Megatherium scares a Macrauchenia away from Half-Tooth, causing him to fail. Later on, another Megatherium kills one of the Smilodon Brothers in a fight over carrion.

The Megatherium in Walking with Beasts.

Trivia

  • The Megatherium's call was produced by lowering the pitch on recordings of goat bleats.
  • The character of Sid the sloth from the Ice Age franchise is a Megatherium. Unlike, in Walking With Beasts, Megatherium in Ice Age are portrayed as stupid idiots the height of a wolf that can be bullied by anybody.

Gallery

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