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The Museum of Ancient Life Welcomes Newest Skeletal Resident

The Giant Ground Sloth of the Ice Age is now on display in the Museum of Ancient Life

 

LEHI, Utah (March 9, 2022) – The amazing Eremotherium laurillardi, more commonly known as the Giant Ground Sloth, is now on display at the Museum of Ancient Life. This incredible mammal was alive during the Pleistocene Epoch (Ice Age) and likely lived 550,000-180,000 years ago.

 

 

This specimen was discovered alongside two other Giant Ground Sloths in 1975 in Daytona, Florida. After nearly 40 years of investigation, preparation, and sorting, this amazing herbivore will be on display in the lobby of the Museum of Ancient Life for two years. The Giant Ground Sloth stands at about 12 feet tall and was comparable to the size of an elephant.

 

Top: Giant Ground Sloth displayed in Museum of Ancient Life lobby. Bottom: Artist representation of a Giant Ground Sloth.

Credit 1: Corey Ford/Stocktrek Images/Science Source

 

Initial investigation done by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada theorizes that the three Giant Ground Sloths that were discovered were swept into the ocean during a flash flood, where they drowned, sank, and were deposited in sediment. Due to the nature of the deposit, their fossils were delicately preserved. The Giant Ground Sloth at the Museum of Ancient Life is 80 percent real bone, which is extremely uncommon and remarkable in paleontology.

 

The Giant Ground Sloth was a herbivore that ate mainly leaves and other soft plants. They were likely hairy, similar to a wooly mammoth. These rare mammals are typically discovered on the East Coast. They lived in warmer regions, like Florida and other southern states, that were glacier-free and could support their plant-based diet. It is unlikely that these animals interacted with humans.

 

After the Museum of Ancient Life hosts the skeleton of the Giant Ground Sloth, the fossil will travel to Denmark’s Knuthenbord Natural History Museum. The fossil is on loan to Thanksgiving Point by Fossilogic, a fossil preparation and mounting company.

 

The Museum of Ancient Life is located at 2929 N Thanksgiving Way in Lehi, Utah. It is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and is closed on Sunday. For information on tickets and pricing, please visit thanksgivingpoint.org.