Ancient Giant Sloth Unearthed in Brazilian Cave

2 Min Read

The Joao Lemos cave in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state has yielded an exciting discovery: fossils of a giant sloth that roamed the Earth during the Ice Age.

This giant sloth, belonging to the megafauna extinct by the end of the last ice age, lived during the Pleistocene epoch. Despite 25% of its skeleton having calcified, scientists managed to recover ribs, skull fragments, and vertebrae. The discovery was made by archaeologists in 2022 during fieldwork by the Brazilian Speleological Society.

Identification and excavation of the remains, involving researchers from PUC Minas, were completed in 2024. The sloth was identified as Catonyx Aff cuvieri, a member of the Scelidotheriinae family. Its bones underwent “permineralisation,” where the biomineral structure was replaced by calcite from the surrounding environment.

While the animal’s sex remains undetermined due to the missing pelvic shell, its mature age is confirmed by the fused bones in its limbs. Researcher Bruno Kraemer describes it as having the build of a 150kg bull, featuring an elongated body, tubular skull, short limbs, and powerful claws.

“These sloths walked on the outside of their feet and built burrows for breeding and shelter,” explains Kraemer.

The valuable fossil material will be housed in the palaeontological collection of the University Museum of Natural Sciences in Belo Horizonte. This discovery, reported by Prensa Latina, a partner of TV BRICS, sheds light on the life and habitat of these impressive giants of the past.

Share This Article
TV BRICS is an international BRICS media network with a potential audience of 3.5 billion people.
Leave a comment