2-16-2015 Prehistoric Bolivia: The Giant Sloth

by Andre

My cousin Kricket and a giant sloth in Tarija, Bolivia

My cousin Kricket and a giant sloth in Tarija, Bolivia

The giant sloth was an herbivore. Its claws were up to 50 centimeters 19 1/2 inches long, about the size of a man's forearm. They lived from South America to North America. Giant sloths were very slow, just like the ones that exist today. They were almost as big as the mastodon, a type of mammoth or prehistoric elephant. Giant sloths weighed up to two tons! They went extinct about 10,000 years ago. The giant sloth was preyed on by the short-faced bears, saber-toothed tigers, and dire wolves. The giant sloth's best defenses were its size and its claws. Unlike the sloths that exist today, the giant sloth couldn't climb trees. If you'd like to learn more, visit our page on the Paleontology Museum of Tarija Bolivia. If you were as slow as a giant sloth, what would you do?

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