JEF­FER­SON’S GROUND SLOTH

Canada's History - - CURRENTS -

To­day, mod­ern sloths are seen as semi-com­i­cal crea­tures: small, slow, and harm­less. But the Jef­fer­son’s ground sloth was an ice-age gi­ant — as long as three me­tres and around a thou­sand kilo­grams in weight. With its peg-like teeth, the sloth feasted on leaves and other plants — but its long and sharp claws of­fered se­ri­ous pro­tec­tion against preda­tors. The Jef­fer­son’s sloth was not the largest of the pre­his­toric sloths, but with its thick fur coat it was the best-adapted for the colder cli­mate of north­ern North Amer­ica.

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