Paleontologists have discovered a megaterium skull of an antiquity that exceeds 3.5 million years, the oldest known in Argentina, who lived in the Pampa during the Pliocene.
The megaterium was a huge ground sloth that reached 5 meters in length and 6 tons in weight, comparable to the largest elephants. Its snout was narrow and it would have a long tongue with which it would tear off the vegetable branches that constituted its food.
Its strange anatomy, large claws and enormous size make the megaterium a mysterious animal, and as such, it has awakened curiosity among researchers. Some specialists believe that could have been carnivore and that it used its large claws to stab its prey, and even that it may have been almost entirely skinned like elephants and rhinos.
The megaterium remains are very common in almost all the Argentine territory, however, this is the first time such ancient remains are found, only comparable to a finding made a few years ago in Bolivia.
The existence of such an ancient megaterium in the plains of the Pampas shows that the history of these enormous sloths is still almost unknown, and it is possible that the megateriums have had a much more complex history than is believed, reports the Municipal Museum “Punta Hermengo” de General Alvarado, in the city of Miramar.
The finding corresponds to an interdisciplinary team that includes researchers from LACEV, Azara Foundation, Miramar Museum of Natural Sciences, UNMDP Center for Coastal and Quaternary Geology, and the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory (CICYTTP).
The specimen was found in the town of San Eduardo del Mar, very close to the city of Miramar, by the researchers who presented the study of this finding: Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico L. Agnolin, Diego Brandoni, Daniel Boh, Mariano Magnussen , Francisco De Cianni and Federico Isla.