A sloth - but thus is no ordinary sloth. This is Megatherium - a giant ground sloth.
— Allen, describing Megatherium

Megatherium ("Giant Beast") was a giant ground sloth and the largest genus of Giant Ground Sloth. It was also one of the largest megafaunal mammals of the Pleistocene.



Megatherium lived in South America over 1 million years ago in the Late Pleistocene. Some shared their environments with Smilodon, Phorusrhacos, the Woolly Mammoths, and other ice age mammals.


Megatherium was far from being a normal sloth. They possessed giant claws, measured over 5-8 meters in length, were 4 meters in height, and weighed more than an adult elephant; a very different beast from their distant relatives, the gentle tree sloths.

These creatures also boasted impressive defenses. Small bones beneath their skin acted like a chain mail, rendering adult Megatherium virtually indestructible.


Megatherium lived in pairs but were also solitary creatures, and even the top predators Smilodon wisely gave them a wide berth of space. Though Megatherium were herbivores, they would occasionally go for carrion to supplement their diet, therefore making them omnivorous. And when they did, their was nothing that got in their way, not even the apex predator Smilodon.