Megatherium, the so-called ‘giant sloth’, was a massive ground-dwelling relative of modern sloths. This particular species, Megatherium americanum, was the largest of its kind. It browsed for plants in South America during the Pleistocene and became extinct just ten thousand years ago.
- Scientific Name: Megatherium americanum
- Characteristics: Megatherium americanum was a large plant-eating mammal with stubby legs and relatively long arms. It was covered with hair and had a blunt skull with strong grinding teeth. It had a broad pelvis and a short tail, and could balance in a squat tripod pose. The large claws on its hands helped it to pull down branches to feed on leaves, and it may have also had a long tongue. It reached 20 feet long – the size of an elephant.
- Size and Color: This figure is 4.5 inches high and 3.5 inches long. It has yellow-brown fur to reflect the most recent scientific evidence.