Facts about Megatherium, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Megatherium



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Mammalia
  Superorder Xenarthra
  Order Pilosa
  Family Megatheriidae
  Genus Megatherium
Megatherium was a giant ground sloth. That from the late Pliocene epoch to the early Holocene, between about 2 million and 8,000 years ago. It is believed to have gone extinct as a result of hunting by humans.

Megatherium weighed around 5 tons, and was 20 feet (6 meters) tall when standing on its hind limbs. It is believed to have stood on its hind legs, using its tail for support as a tripod, and used its front limbs to pull down branches from which it would have eaten leaves. It was probably also equpped with a long tongue.

Megatherium probably most ate leaves, but may also have hunted or scavenged meat as well - there is for eaxmple, some suggestion that it could have used its claws as daggers. One possibility is that Megatherium could have scavenged kills made by Smilodon. Another possibility is that Megatherium may have hunted Glyptodonts - a number of fossils of Glyptodonts have been showing the creature apparently dying on its back, and the only creature in the habitat that could have flipped over a Glyptodont, is Megatherium.

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Megatherium Timeline:

Megatherium was a giant ground sloth that lived between 2 million and 8,000 years ago

Megatherium was a giant ground sloth that lived between 2 million and 8,000 years ago

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