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Extinct Ground Sloths (Paramylodon harlani, Nothrotheriops shastensis, and Megalonyx jeffersoni) Fact Sheet: Diseases & Pathology

Extinct Ground Sloths (Paramylodon harlani, Nothrotheriops shastensis, and Megalonyx jeffersoni)

How Do We Know This?

Abnormalities in fossils bones may show evidence of arthritis, cancer, nutritional stress, fractures and more.

Diseases & Pathology

  • A skeleton of Megatherium with pathologically fused teeth was once mistakenly thought to be a new species.
  • Some examples of trauma and infections have been noted.
  • Fusion of digits has been noted, but these are not necessarily arthritic changes and are thought to be evolutionary trends.

Page Citations

McDonald (1989)

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