Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Fossil footprints hint at giant sloth chase


Posted on Thursday, 26 April, 2018 | Comment icon 13 comments

Sloths once grew to enormous sizes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Wikipedia Loves Art
New evidence has been discovered to suggest that our ancestors hunted down giant prehistoric sloths.
Given the small size and rather docile temperament of today's sloths, it's hard to imagine that, thousands of years ago, there existed huge, hulking sloths that weighed up to 4 tons.

Now a set of 11,000-year-old fossilized footprints discovered in New Mexico has revealed that these creatures not only lived in the region, but were also actively hunted by our own ancestors.

The prints, which measure 20 inches across, each have a smaller human print nestled inside them, suggesting that the creature's pursuers were following very closely behind.

"The human footprints share the same long-axis orientation and occur inside the sloth track outline, indicating that the human trackmaker was walking intentionally within the sloth track," scientist Matthew Bennett and colleagues wrote in a new paper.

"These steps required the person to adjust her/his normal stride to accommodate the longer stride of the sloth."

While it had long been suspected that humans would have hunted giant sloths either for food or fur, this discovery offers the first direct evidence that this actually took place.

Some of the prints even suggest that the sloth may have attempted to defend against the attack.

"The circular sloth trackways are consistent with defensive behaviors in which sloths reared on their hind-limbs, freeing their forelimbs for defence," the researchers wrote.

"We termed these structures 'flailing circles'."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (13)

Tags: Sloth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Oniomancer on 26 April, 2018, 15:43
One dos not normally expect to see the words sloth and chase together in the same sentence.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Oniomancer on 26 April, 2018, 15:43
 
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer on 27 April, 2018, 17:14
It must have been a short pursuit!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog on 1 May, 2018, 11:30
They need to revive all these lost species so I can taste them on my BBQ !
Comment icon #8 Posted by NicoletteS on 1 May, 2018, 14:33
Yeah and when I suggested people hunted them I was ridiculed and told they didn't have to worry about predators... Now they find proof of it and you think flooding wiped them out? Honestly do you think any giant animal has ever gone extinct from a flood? No. Not likely by any means. Did anything else go extinct in this great flood? Or just the things we were hunting?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney on 1 May, 2018, 14:51
It wasn't one it was 4 major glacier lakes that cut loose and really messed up the plant life and we did hunt them, but not to extinction. The North American environment was really nasty. That's what did them in. I have a background in archaeology, geology and anthropology. It isn't a musing. I been on a team tracking the glacier floodwater. I've been on digs that have done pollen floatation. What is your background? 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hammerclaw on 1 May, 2018, 23:27
Sea levels rose, we lost our vast coastal plains that teemed with megafauna. As the ice sheets melted, they no longer had the mountain effect on atmospheric circulation over the continent and the rain belts moved south causing desertification of a great swath of the heartland. Habitat loss caused a drastic reduction of grazing and browsing species with a consequent reduction of predator species. While human predation factors into the extinction event, it was but one of many and not the most significant one at that. In fact, new discoveries are hinting at a much longer presence of man in the Ne... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by NicoletteS on 4 May, 2018, 12:19
Do you actually think that means you tracked the demise of the last sloth? What does that have to do with pollen?  Did you even study sloths? Ever seen a piece of one? I recently turned down an archaeology job, I do nothing. Nothing. What do you mean by background tho? I have one as well but i hardly find it relevant to have to list my formal relations in a discussion of plain observances. I've collected quite a few prehistoric fossils tho in my downtime I'm not going to pretend that your self proclaimed authority means people didn't hunt sloths though, because obviously they did. Also won't p... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Piney on 4 May, 2018, 12:22
I did say we hunted sloths! I also said the pollen indicated a loss of plants which the sloths eat!  Can you read?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Aardvark-DK on 16 May, 2018, 12:53
Maybe big sloths were fast, and deadly... ;)


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6349434
268588
178382

 
Parrot orders shopping using Amazon Alexa
12-18-2018
A parrot named Rocco has been driving his owner up the wall by ordering items using Amazon's voice assistant.
Distant solar system object 'Farout' discovered
12-18-2018
Astronomers have identified the farthest known object in our solar system at a distance of 11 billion miles.
China and Russia modify Earth's atmosphere
12-17-2018
The two world powers have reportedly been working together on a series of controversial experiments.
Prehistoric feathers found preserved in amber
12-17-2018
Scientists have discovered some rather unusual feathers within pieces of amber dating back 100 million years.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The logistics of climbing Everest
Posted 12-16-2018 | 2 comments
A look at what it really takes to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
 
Humboldt squid takes a bite
Posted 12-10-2018 | 1 comment
A look at what happened when Steve Backshall met a rather large Humboldt squid.
 
Rainbow jelly tennis
Posted 12-3-2018 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt another ridiculous slow motion experiment involving jelly.
 
Progress launch timelapse
Posted 11-24-2018 | 0 comments
A look at the recent launch of the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft.
 
The unique wildlife of the Cairngorms
Posted 11-16-2018 | 1 comment
A look at the breathtaking snowy wilds of Scotland's Cairngorm Mountains.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
 
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
 
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK
 
Various experiences
10-31-2018 | Californiia
 
A transparent figure
10-31-2018 | Nigeria
 
My childhood haunting
10-29-2018 | Cincinnati, Ohio
 
Orange, hovering, atom-like figure
10-25-2018 | West kelowna
 
I saw a strange man
10-25-2018 | Croatia
 
Spontaneous exorcisms
10-25-2018 | Canada
 
Two children who didn't age
10-24-2018 | United States New York
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ