🤑 Paleontologists Dig Into a Giant Sloth Boneyard - Scientific American Blog Network

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Eremotherium is an extinct genus of ground sloth of the family Megatheriidae, endemic to northern South America, Central America, and parts of southern North​.


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ABSTRACT--Remains of Eremotherium, representing a large-sized megatheriid ground sloth, are known from localities in North, Central, and South America.


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Eremotherium is an extinct genus of ground sloth of the family Megatheriidae, endemic to North.


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Eremotherium is an extinct genus of ground sloth of the family Megatheriidae, endemic to northern South America, Central America, and parts of southern North​.


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Eremotherium eomigrans is an extinct species of giant ground sloth that belongs to a third family, the Megatheriidae, that first migrated to North.


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A partial sloth (Eremotherium laurillardi) mandible containing the 2nd and 3rd premolar. The fossil was collected in A cast has been made of the specimen.


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Eremotherium eomigrans is an extinct species of giant ground sloth that belongs to a third family, the Megatheriidae, that first migrated to North.


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Eremotherium a.k.a.‭ ‬Panamerican Ground Sloth. Name: Eremotherium ‭(‬Solitary beast‭)‬. Phonetic: Eh-re-moe-fee-ree-um. Named By: Spillmann‭ ‬-‭ ‬


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Eremotherium is an extinct genus of ground sloth of the family Megatheriidae, endemic to northern South America, Central America, and parts of southern North​.


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Eremotherium a.k.a.‭ ‬Panamerican Ground Sloth. Name: Eremotherium ‭(‬Solitary beast‭)‬. Phonetic: Eh-re-moe-fee-ree-um. Named By: Spillmann‭ ‬-‭ ‬


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eremotherium

Or perhaps ancient humans with a hunger for sloths created this site. Maybe this place took victims over time, with mud or some other trapping mechanism preventing sloth after sloth from escaping. Already a subscriber? Sign in. Hippos, for example, sometimes end up being trapped by shrinking, increasingly-uninhabitable water sources, dying before the wet season can refresh their ponds. This means that Tanque Loma is a monodominant bone bed. Within that sample, the paleontologists estimate that the bonebed contains at least 22 individuals broken down into different age classes — 15 adults, one subadult, and six juveniles. So when paleontologists come across dense pockets of bone, representing not just one animal but many, how such an ancient treasure trove was assembled is one of the core threads that we can pull on to unravel the mystery of a time long gone. First, the asphalt is something of a red herring. And bonebeds like this can form in very different ways. The collected remains offer an outline of how Eremotherium grew up, and may indicate that this particular sloth species was social. Sign up for our email newsletter. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sign Up. See Subscription Options. Prehistoric boneyards always raise the same question. Perhaps an important water source dried up during drought, with the sloths unable to find, or travel to, another pool. Read More Previous. See Subscription Options Already a subscriber? The sheer amount of sloth-processed plant material at Tanque Loma may indicate that Eremotherium were social beasts that liked to wallow. And this backdrop may hold the key to what befell the sloths. Download our New and Improved App. Or maybe the dwindling water source became contaminated somehow, with thirsty sloths drinking toxic water and returning rains eventually burying the bones. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. There are other bonebeds near Tanque Loma, but none contain Eremotherium in such great abundance. You have free article s left. The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Learn More. Some modern animals die this way. Sign In See Subscription Options.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Hypotheses shift according to additional evidence, discovery, and discussion, but, as it stands now, Lindsey and colleagues suggest that something unfortunate happened at the watering hole. Worse, the sloths may have hastened their own demise. Maybe some local catastrophe killed a whole bunch of the sloths at once. And like modern hippos, they may have fouled their own water supply. The site, called Tanque Loma, has just gotten a detailed description from paleontologist Emily Lindsey and colleagues. Instead, the bonebed was created in a watery environment that was later infiltrated by asphalt. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Fossilization is a fairly rare occurrence to start with. So it is with a massive accumulation of sloths found in Santa Elena, Ecuador. But why at this place, and why so many? Perhaps the sloths stuck around a dried-up watering hole too long. Get smart.