Skull of a 15,000-year-old giant sloth found in Uruguay

The exceptional skull of a giant sloth found in southern Uruguay is the new ticket with which the country’s Natural History Museum invites you to travel to the Ice Age.

Kept as a secret in the heart of the Earth and reassembled piece by piece, after a complex extraction, the exceptional skull of a giant sloth found in the south of Uruguay is the new ticket with which the Natural History Museum of the country invites you to travel to the Ice Age.

With real leaps and bounds, it moved through forests and grasslands in South America, using its huge claws to feed on plants and roots. This is how the Megatherium lived some 15,000 years ago, one more specimen of the megafauna that inhabited the planet in the times of the first hominids.

The Uruguayan paleontologist from the National Museum of Natural History, Washington Jones, speaks: “It is an exceptional material, because despite the fact that it is an animal, many parts of its skeleton are found throughout South America. The skull is especially rare in its complete form.”

Limited in space, but loaded with information, the exhibition from the Uruguayan Museum dedicated one of its billboards to the history of a species with roots in the current region of the Río de la Plata, since, according to Jones, the first skeleton of Megatherium americanum was discovered in Luján, Argentina in the 18th century.

“He realized that that giant who woven stories that he could make of the giants of the Bible or who knows what else was a bit strange, was actually a gigantic animal, but it had all the anatomy, all the anatomical signs that they could link it to the small tree sloths that live in the South American jungle,” Jones explained.

To prove how tangled history is, the paleontologist also points out that the National Museum of Natural History has in its present room samples of the Ibicela lutea plant, known as “Devil’s Horn”, whose origin also dates back to the Pleistocene, Ice Age period and is linked to these animals.

Jones indicates that the fruit of the plant still has horns or spikes that get hooked on the fur of cows or horses, but that at first it did on that of those megatheriums or mastodons; transportation that helped disperse their seeds.