FACTOID # 10: The total number of state executions in 2005 was 60: 19 in Texas and 41 elsewhere. The racial split was 19 Black and 41 White.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Megatherium" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Megatherium
Megatherium
Fossil range: Pleistocene

Megatherium fossil, from James Parkinson, "Organic Remains of a Former World", c.1830.
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Xenarthra
Order: Pilosa
Family: Megatheriidae
Genus: Megatherium
Cuvier, 1796

Megatheriinae were a subfamily of elephant-sized ground sloths that lived from 2 million to 8,000 years ago. Their smaller ground sloth cousins were the Mylodon. The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) is part of the geologic timescale. ... Image File history File links MegatheriumOld. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ... James Parkinson (April 11, 1755 – December 21, 1824) was an English physician, geologist, paleontologist, and political activist. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in female mammary glands and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in... Orders and suborders Order Pilosa Suborder Vermilingua Suborder Folivora Order Cingulata See text for more details The superorder Xenarthra is a group of placental mammals (infraclass Eutheria), extant today only in the Americas. ... Families Bradypodidae Megalonychidae Cyclopedidae Myrmecophagidae The order Pilosa is a group of placental mammals, extant today only in the Americas. ... Families Rathymotheriidae Scelidotheriidae Mylodontidae Orophodontidae Megalonychidae Megatheriidae Ground sloths are extinct edentate (Order Xenarthra) mammals that are believed to be relatives of tree sloths and three-toed sloths. ... Georges Cuvier Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (August 23, 1769–May 13, 1832) was a French naturalist and zoologist. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... Families Rathymotheriidae Scelidotheriidae Mylodontidae Orophodontidae Megalonychidae Megatheriidae Ground sloths are extinct edentate (Order Xenarthra) mammals that are believed to be relatives of tree sloths and three-toed sloths. ... The Mylodon was a smaller breed of ground sloth, approximately ox-sized, related to the Megatherium and modern three-toed sloths and two-toed sloths. ...

Contents

Characteristics

Giant sloth

Unlike its living relative, the tree sloth, Megatherium was one of the largest mammals to walk the Earth. Weighing as much as an African bull elephant, it had huge claws on its feet. These claws meant that it could not put its feet flat on the ground and so, like a modern anteater, it had to walk on the sides of its feet. Its footprints show that it walked mainly on its hind legs. When it stood on its hind legs, it was about twice the height of an elephant, or about twenty feet tall. They were one of the abundant Pleistocene megafauna - a wide variety of very large mammals that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. Image File history File linksMetadata Giant_Sloth. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Giant_Sloth. ... Families Megalonychidae Bradypodidae †Rathymotheriidae †Scelidotheriidae †Mylodontidae †Orophodontidae †Megatheriidae Sloths are medium-sized mammals that live in Central and South America belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. ... Families Cyclopedidae Myrmecophagidae Anteaters are the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua commonly known for eating ants and termites. ... It has been suggested that New World Pleistocene extinctions be merged into this article or section. ...


Megatherium had a robust skeleton with a large pelvic girdle and a broad muscular tail. Its large size and specially adapted body made it possible to feed at heights otherwise unobtainable by other contemporary herbivores. Rising on its powerful hind legs and using its tail to form a tripod, Megatherium was able to support its massive body weight while using its long forelegs with curved claws to pull down branches with the choicest leaves. Its large deep jaw is believed to have housed a long tongue, as in the modern tree sloth, which it would then use to pull leaves into its mouth. In zoology, an herbivore is an animal that is adapted to eat primarily plants (rather than meat). ... Families Megalonychidae Bradypodidae †Rathymotheriidae †Scelidotheriidae †Mylodontidae †Orophodontidae †Megatheriidae Sloths are medium-sized mammals that live in Central and South America belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. ...


Some recent morpho-functional analysis (Bargo, 2001) indicate that M. americanum was well adapted for strong and mainly vertical biting. The teeth are extremely hypsodont and bilophodont, and the sagittal section of each loph is triangular with a sharp edge. This suggests that the teeth were used mainly for cutting, rather than grinding, and that hard and fibrous food was not the main dietary component. Especially high-crowned teeth, which provides lots of extra material for wear and tear. ...


There is a common misbelief that the sabre-toothed cat Smilodon hunted Megatherium, but the sloths were far too big for even this large cat to attack. Richard Fariña and Ernesto Blanco of the Universidad de la República in Montevideo have analysed a fossil skeleton of M. americanum and discovered that its olecranon—the part of the elbow to which the triceps muscle attaches—was very short. This adaptation is found in carnivores and optimises speed rather than strength. The researchers say this would have enabled M. americanum to use its claws aggressively, like daggers (Fariña and Blanco, 1996). The conclusion is that due to its nutrient-poor habitats, Megatherium may have actually taken over the kills of Smilodon. A number of adult Glyptodon fossils have also been found where the shell was turned upside down. This hints at Megatherium scavenging or hunting this animal, as no other known animal existed in South America during that period that could flip an adult Glyptodon. Species Smilodon californicus Smilodon fatalis Smilodon gracilis Smilodon populator Smilodon floridus Smilodon neogaeus For the record label, see Smilodon Records Smilodon (IPA: //, a bahuvrihi from Greek: knife and (Ionic) tooth) is an extinct genus of large machairodontine sabre-toothed cats that are understood to have lived between approximately 3 million... ... The triceps brachii muscle is a large three-headed skeletal muscle found in humans. ... This article deals with meat-eating animals. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Distribution

It was formerly thought that Megatherium lived only in South America. However, a University of Florida research team recently found a skeleton in North America. This was a new species of giant sloth, which weighed as much as an African bull elephant, more than 5 tons. Unlike previously discovered species, it had 5 digits and 4 claws instead of 4 digits and three claws. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... The University of Florida (commonly referred to as Florida or UF) is a public land-grant, space-grant, research university located in Gainesville, Florida. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... Distribution of Loxodonta africana (2007) Species Loxodonta adaurora (extinct) Loxodonta africana Loxodonta cyclotis African elephants are the two species of elephants in the genus Loxodonta, one of the two existing genera in Elephantidae. ...


A giant sloth skeleton was found during construction of approach lighting for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington, USA. The skeleton now resides at the Burke Museum, University of Washington.


Habits

Little is known about the giant ground sloth, but we do know that it was big and powerful. When it stood on its hind legs it was about twice the height of an elephant. Its very thick skin, which was covered with dense, heavy fur, protected it from predators. The giant ground sloth was an herbivorous animal that fed mainly on plants that grew on the ground. It's believed that the giant sloth lived in groups, but it may have lived singly in caves.


Food & Feeding

The giant ground sloth lived in the lightly wooded areas of South America, feeding on the leaves such as yuccas, agaves, and grasses. The closely related genus Eremotherium lived in more tropical environments further north. Pulling itself upright to sit on its haunches or to stand, the giant ground sloth balanced its weight with its tail. It then tugged at plants with is feet, digging them up with the five sharp claws on each foot. The sloth used its simple teeth to grind down food before swallowing it, and its highly developed cheek muscles helped in this process. The sloth's stomach was able to digest coarse and fibrous food. For millions of years, the sloth had no enemies to bother it, so it was probably a diurnal feeder. It is likely that it spent a lot of time resting to aid digestion.


Evolution

When the ancestors of the giant ground sloth became established in South America, the land bridge joining North and South America was submerged. The sloth and other edentates (simple toothed creatures) developed undisturbed and were unique to this part of the world. The edentate families looked very different but had certain things in common: Simple teeth and different numbers of vertebrae to provide varying degrees of spinal movement. Nearly six million years passed before the land dividing the continents appeared again. Some sloths and other edentates then moved further north and became widespread before they disappeared completely. In the south, the giant ground sloth flourished until about 10,000 years ago. Some cite the appearance of human hunters as the cause of its extinction, others climatic changes; however, the actual cause is unknown. Families Megalonychidae Bradypodidae †Rathymotheriidae †Scelidotheriidae †Mylodontidae †Orophodontidae †Megatheriidae Sloths are medium-sized mammals that live in Central and South America belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. ... Families Myrmecophagidae Megalonychidae Bradypodidae Dasypodidae The order Xenarthra is a group of placental mammals, extant today only in the Americas. ...


Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species


Length: About 20 ft from nose to tip of tail Weight: Possibly up to 4 tons Height: About 15 ft on hindlegs Breeding: Mating Unknown No of young: Unknown Gestation: Unknown


Lifestyle: Habit: Probably mostly solitary, although some may have lived in groups. Diet: Vegetarian, feeding on plants like yucca and agaves. Life span: Unknown Other Giants: There are several types of ground sloth, Megatherium being one of the largest. Others were Eremotherium and Mylodon. Distribution: Megatherium, the giant ground sloth, live in the parts of South America that are now Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Related species moved to North America and covered a wide range there for a few million years.


Skeletal Details of the Giant Ground Sloth Size: On all fours the sloth would have been about the same size as an elephant. Vertebrae: Extra spinal joints provided great flexiblility and strength. Tail: The sloth used its tail for balance, particularly when standing on its hind legs. Claws: Each foot had five sharp claws used to dig up plants to eat. Hind Legs: When standing upright on its powerful hind legs, the sloth could reach up to pull leaves from the trees.


See also

Megatherium Club Megatherium Club - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


References

  • Bargo, M. S. (2001). "The ground sloth Megatherium americanum: Skull shape, bite forces, and diet". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 46 (2): 173–192. 
  • Fariña, R. A.; R. E. Blanco (1996). "Megatherium, the stabber". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 263: 1725–1729. 

Gallery

Megatherium americanum

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Megatheriidae

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1536x2048, 1599 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1545 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1536x2048, 1579 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1536x2048, 1584 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1536x2048, 1533 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1581 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Megatherium Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Image review Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File links Megatherium. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

External links

  • Paleocraft Megatherium
  • BBC - Walking With Beasts - Megatherium

  Results from FactBites:
 
Megatherium - LoveToKnow 1911 (610 words)
MEGATHERIUM (properly Megalotherium), a huge extinct edentate mammal from the Pleistocene deposits of Buenos Aires, typifying the family Megatheriidae (or Megalotheriidae), and by far the largest representative of the Edentata.
Except, indeed, for its relatively shorter limbs Megatherium americanum rivalled an elephant in bulk, the total length of the skeleton being 18 feet, five of which are taken up by the tail.
The hind-foot is remarkable for the great backward projection of the calcaneum, and likewise for the peculiar shape of the astragalus; the middle toe alone carries a claw, this being of huge size, and ensheathed like those of the fore foot.
Megatherium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1369 words)
Unlike its living relative, the tree sloth, Megatherium was one of the largest mammals to walk the Earth.
The Megatherium had a robust skeleton with a large pelvic girdle and a broad muscular tail.
A Megatherium is featured in the BBC documentary Walking With Beasts, shown taking over the kill of a pack of Smilodon, actually killing one in the process.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m