Period of life: 2 MYA
Habitat: Wild forests
Length: 6 m
Megatherium is a giant ancestor of sloths that inhabited the lands of South and North America about 2 million years ago. For the first time his bone remains were found in 1787 in Argentina. European museums have spared colossal funds to purchase samples to show the people of skeletal structures. Until the 19th century, megatheria had no competitors in terms of winning the applause of the crowd: how huge the skeleton of the beast was, so wide were the eyes of the amazed audience.
This protestor was twice the height of an ordinary three-meter elephant. Standing on its paws, it reached 6 meters in length and weighed about 7 tons. He had a flexible spine and a strong tail that allowed him to rest against it in order to stand on his hind legs and reach the delicious tall-growing leaves on the trees. The body was covered with a thick layer of wool, and under the skin there were strong bone plates that perfectly protected the megatheria from the bites of predators. The front paws had 17 centimeter claws, and, thanks to the well-developed triceps, they could calmly give a savory slap in the face to any who encroached on the life of the shaggy giant.
At first, the megatherium roamed the territories of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile without any competition. After the area connecting the two continents dried up, the animal also moved to North America. It ate grass, leaves, roots, plants like yucca and agave, occasionally pampering itself with meat. Megatherium died out relatively recently - 10 thousand years ago.Megatherium is a sloth gigantic ancestor inhabited South and North America about 2 million years ago. Its bone remains were first recovered in 1787 in Argentina. European museums spent big money to purchase specimens for exhibition of Megatherium skeleton. Up to 19th century Megatherium had no rivals in getting public attention and a giant skeleton widened the eyes of the beholders.
This proto-sloth was twice taller than an average 3-metre elephant. In its upright position Megatherium was 6 metres tall weighing 7 tonnes. Megatherium had flexible spinal column and strong tail. The animal could lean on it whilst standing on hind limbs and pulling down the branches with the fussiest leaves. The body was covered with thick coat. Furthermore, it had firm bony plates under skin protected the animal against predator jaws. The forelimbs had 17 cm claws and developed triceps allowing a perfect protection from any attacker.
In the beginning, Megatherium freely roamed the lands of Brasilia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile having no rivals. Later, when South and North America connected and formed the Central American Isthmus the animal migrated to North America. Megatherium diet included grass, leaves, roots, yucca, agave and barely flesh. Megatherium went extinct around 10 thousand years ago.
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