Extinct in 7000-8000 years ago

Megatherium in LOST ZOO


    The Megatherium or Giant ground sloth is definitively the most striking animal which ever lived on the South American continent.


    Remarkable and unique for the Megatherium are its huge, stout body size with its hard, long fur as well as the broad, muscular tail and the comparative small head.


    Like the modern anteaters, the Giant ground sloth walks on the sides of its feet, because its huge claws prevent it from putting them flat on the ground.


    Megatherium uses its long forelegs with the curved claws to pull down branches with the mostly succulent leaves and pulls them off with its large and prehensile lips.

    Megatherium , the Giant ground sloth

    The Megatherium or Giant ground sloth is the largest endemic South American mammal. It can walk on its hind legs like a bear. Standing on its hind legs, it is taller than an elephant. Rising on its hind legs and using its tail as an additional support, the Megatherium uses the long forelegs with the sharp curved claws to pull down branches with the choicest leaves, which Megatherium as a very selective eater tears off with its large, narrow, prehensile lips.

    Standing upright height: 520 cm

    Head-Tail length: 6 m

    Footprint: 88 x 48 cm

    Body weight: 4-6 tons

    Habitat: Pampas region and the Andean mountains up to a height of 4.500 m

    Extinction: After the arrival of the first people on the continent the Megatherium disappeared because of overhunting from most parts of its large distribution about 10.000 years ago and became definitely extinct 7000-8000 years ago.