Jefferson’s Ground Sloth

Jefferson's Ground Sloth, Megalonyx jeffersonii

Jefferson’s ground sloth, Megalonyx jeffersonii, is a Megalonychid ground sloth and one of two types of ground sloth that have been recovered from Ice Age sites in the Midwest. You can read about the other type, Harlans' ground sloth, here.  Ground sloths were large relatives of the modern two-toed sloths (Choloepus spp.) and three-toed sloths (Bradypus spp.). However, unlike modern sloths, which spend most of their time in trees, the ground sloths spent all of their time on the ground. 

Jefferson's ground sloth, Megalonyx jeffersonii

Mounted skeleton of Jefferson's ground sloth, Megalonyx jeffersonii, on display in the Changes exhibit at the Illinois State Museum. 

Xenarthra (Sloths and Armadillos)
Megalonychidae (Megalonychid ground sloths)

Length: 2.4-3.0 m (8-10 ft)
Weight: 1000-1100 kg (2200-2425 lbs); McDonald 2005