Talk:Ground sloth

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The last ground sloths[edit]

A new anonymous User: has changed the extinction from 10,000 years ago to 8000 years ago. Is any one competent to vet this change and perhaps even expand upon why the date has been selected? --Wetman 22:37, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Now User:Aranae has inserted "They may have died out as recently as 3,715 years ago in Haiti, but had long since been extinct on the mainland." This user has made many contributions to entries on mammals. Tongue-in-cheek exactness to satirize my expression of doubt? Was the "Year 0" counted or left out? May we have a clue to the basis for a date? --Wetman 03:14, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Can't blame you for skepticism on that one. There's another problem: the second paragraph currently says there are only four identified species. The rest of the article lists more than those four. Postdlf 05:04, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It's from Walker's Mammals of the World. It's why I added the reference. I just listed the date as it's seen there. It's based on some well dated archaeological cave deposits. I've heard some people suggest there were ground sloths in the West Indies when Columbus arrived, but I have no source for that and am not totally convinced. --Aranae 06:05, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
Well, that's the soundest of references. But where'd they get those last fifteen years? Only trees rings are generally that precise. Don't be cross that I doubted. It's my training. --Wetman 12:20, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Several species (of Acratocnus, Neocnus and a few others) have survived into at least the Quaternary and probably the Holocene of the West Indian isles. See also White, J.L. & MacPhee, R.D.E. 2001. The sloths of the West Indies: a systematic and phylogenetic review. Pp. 201-235 in Woods, C.A. & Sergile, F.E. (eds.). Biogeography of the West Indies: Patterns and Perspectives. and []. Ucucha 07:36, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I know that the last of the ground sloths, Megalocnus, managed to survive well into the Holocene, at least until humans reached its island home. I'm not sure, but I think it was well after 8000 years ago. Metalraptor (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


Why are we talking about "the four species of ground sloth found in the United States"? A bit like discussing "Belgian dinosaurs" no? Why not North America? --Wetman 02:08, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's a relic from when the article listed those four as the only species—it previously said only "the four identified species..." without the geographic limiter that someone else added. Feel free to correct that as you see fit. Postdlf 04:18, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not competent. I'd just substitute "North America" for "United States"... --Wetman 05:01, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But then I worry if other species have been found in Canada or Mexico that haven't been found in the U.S, which would then make the statement incorrect. Maybe it's best to simply move the section to a less prominent spot, or comment it out for now until someone with more knowledge on the subject than you or I can deal with it? Postdlf 05:08, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Which mainland is referred to in "on the mainland" (first paragraph)? From the discussion above I can only assume that this means North America, but "the mainland" is relative to where you are. I'm not nit-picking, it's just that I feel an encyclopaedia should be unambiguous to the best of the abilities of the contributors.

It refers to either continent that contained ground sloths, North America or South America. --Aranae 22:28, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Only one ground sloth that I know of is actually found in Canada, Megalonyx. A good deal of the sloths in North America were only found in the U.S., but lets put North America just to be safe. Metalraptor (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thoughts on the Prehistoric mammals category[edit]

My personal opinion is that while it is good to have the distinctions between the different Epochs, the category of prehistoric mammals should still be included as many in the general public are unaware of which specific Epoch their mammal was from. Essentially, it would be like having two card catalog references. I agree that the Epoch distinctions are more accurate and if I had to chose one or the other, that would be the one I would keep. But I think there is still value in maintaining it. Or perhaps prehistoric mammals could become just a list of, provided all of hte current mammals ended up on the list. Any thoughts?

--aremisasling 20:55, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I think every prehistoric mammal should get four category designations, taxonomy, prehistoric (taxonomy), Epoch(s) known from, Epoch extinction. Logically, users should be able to get to a prehistoric mammal, but looking up mammals by taxonomy, prehistoric mammals by taxonomy, animals known from given Epochs, and animals separated by extinctions.
Ground sloth should therefore be cat:Xenarthrans, cat:Prehistoric mammals, cat:Oligocene mammals (as well as Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene), and cat:Recent extinctions. As more subcategorizing happens and new categories are made, cat:Xenarthra will be switched to cat:Sloths, and cat:Prehistoric mammals will be switched to cat:Prehistoric xenarthrans.
Now that I've thought that through, I'm worried I may have reverted some of your edits in this regard. I think that's what you've been doing. My apologies if that's the case. If this receives agreement, we should post it on the category talk page. --Aranae 21:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Hey, no worries. I've just been starting the extensive task of tracking down all of the prehistoric critters (starting arbitrarily with mammals) and giving them Epoch cats. The intent is to eventually make it universal for all living things. I was mostly posting to head it off at the pass and get some consensus so we could keep it all fairly universal. My only hesitation is that in some of the more long-lived critters, the cat list may get pretty cumbersome. I had an Order, I think it was, that went from the Cretaceous to the modern day.

--aremisasling 21:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps a broader category for the Tertiary, Cenozoic, etc. that would somehow imply that it was found throughout the time period? --Aranae 21:54, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I think that might do it. The only catch would be that they would no longer be placed next to contemporaries in each Epoch. I'm not sure which way I like better. --aremisasling 21:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Conversation moved to Category_talk:Prehistoric_mammals


There's something wrong with the layout on this page. Does someone know how to fix it? Andrew Moylan 04:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Map idea[edit]

I doubt this idea would be feasible but does anyone have any thoughts on doing a map where we could put virtual pins on where such animals have been found? I think it would add to not only this but many of the long extinct animals. JohnCub 14:17, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

There's a map like that for Pleistocene animals. Google Holmesina and you'll probably find it. The only problem is that some of them are not shown. Metalraptor (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Families Redirect[edit]

We really need to get started on changing all of the ground sloth family pages from redirects into their own articles.--Mr Fink (talk) 16:54, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

There is a more worrisome problem in the Families by inclusion and exclusion of sloth families that do not reflect the current view of slothologists. Much of this stems from blindly following McKenna & Bell. For example, Scelidotheridae is generally not considered to be a family but is a subfamily of Mylodontidae (Scelidotherinae), which sometimes includes the subfamily Lestodoninae of Webb (1989). Nothrotheriidae is gaining ground as a distinct family as well. See McDonald (1987) and Gaudin (2004) for a more thorough review. Doc Sloth (talk) 22:23, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
To that end, how does one change Megalonyx to stop redirecting to ground sloth? Doc Sloth (talk) 17:25, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Just edit the page, so that it no longer includes the redirect instruction. (That is to say: search for "Megalonyx", then, after WP redirects you to Ground Sloth, click on the link to the actual Megalonyx page where it says "redirected from...". Then edit that accordingly). Anaxial (talk) 17:58, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Done Doc Sloth (talk) 22:23, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Relation to plant species[edit]

I've seen articles discussing the effects of the extinction of giant ground sloths on various plant species that benefitted from the sloth's presence in the form of seed distribution. I would like to request for someone to add this information if possible. Cazort (talk) 23:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, someone definitely should Metalraptor (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Split proposals[edit]

Yes to all split proposals. This is a natural. Umbertoumm (talk) 12:25, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

We definitely need to split the articles up. No question there. Metalraptor (talk) 15:18, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I boldly created a page for Megalonychidae, though it was via a cut and past of the text here so it will need some tweaking to reflect the modern sloth members.--Kevmin (talk) 01:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Scelidotheriidae needs to be merged back within Mylodontidae as the subfamily Scelidotheriinae. McKenna and Bell, which most of this list was created from, were invalid in their suggestion of a family level for the scelidotheres, and you'd be hard pressed to find any current fossil sloth researcher to agree with that elevation of status Doc Sloth (talk) 20:00, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Who said?[edit]

I'm not sure how to add a new footnote myself, but the statement "nearly every good specimen has been described as a different species" is cited in "Pleistocene Mammals of North America by Björn Kurtén, Elaine Anderson (Columbia University Press, 1980), as being from page 216 of Hirschfeld, S.E., and Webb, S.D. 1968. Plio-Pleistocene megalonychild sloths of North America. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum of Biological Science 12(5):213-96 --Anansii (talk) 23:45, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

You can add the footnote by entering the following, after the comment being cited:

<ref>{{cite book |author= Kurtén, Björn & Anderson, Elaine|year=1980|title=Pleistocene Mammals of North America|publisher= Columbia University Press|pages= xxx|isbn= yyy}}</ref>

Replacing xxx and yyy with the relevant details. Anaxial (talk) 23:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


The text contains two contradictory statements in regards to the phylogeny. In the "Megatheriidae" section, the first sentence says Megatheriidae and Megalonychidae together form the infraorder Megatheria. In the "Nothrotheriidae" section, the first sentence says Megatheriidae and Northrotheriidae together form the superfamily Megatheroidea. I'm not an expert in sloths, but I'm going to go ahead and alter this to say that all three families belong in the infraorder Megatheria. (talk) 02:50, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Sloth families[edit]

Based on the activity on the Talk page, this article hasn't received a lot of attention in several years. I have a request, though. I am interested in ground sloth biology, but, like most extinct animals of South America, there are serious accessibility problems with data on sloths. One thing that bothers me is that there is virtually no accessible information anywhere that compares and contrasts the different sloth families. On this page, nothing at all is stated about the biology of any family: it only mentions if and when they appear in North America and some random anecdotes about what some paleontologists at some point speculated. It would be really helpful if somebody could provide some information about what distinguishes, e.g., megalonychids from megatheriids. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tennesseellum (talkcontribs) 01:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

If you post requests at the Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request, some Wikipedians may be able to get access to those pages for you.--Mr Fink (talk) 01:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I think this article may also be a problem because "ground sloth" is a paraphyletic group, like Saber-toothed cat, and there should therefore not be a taxobox. FunkMonk (talk) 05:02, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Artists interpretation?[edit]

Should there maybe an artists interpretation of what the ground sloth looked like? It would be good to have an idea of what they looked like in life, which is hard for a layperson like me when just looking at their skeleton (talk) 01:12, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

In Popular Culture Section[edit]

If we're going to have this section, would it be at all too much to ask for if its proponents could care to elaborate on discussing how ground sloths and their public perception have impacted "popular culture," and not leave it as a trivial laundry list of "spot the monster of the week" appearances?--Mr Fink (talk) 20:10, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

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