Costa Rica News – A sloth twice the height of a human may sound like something out of a movie but it was discovered to actually have lived in Costa Rica seven million years ago. Bones found in Coto Brus correspond to it.
The giant sloth would have weighed five or six tons. Paleontologists are working with the bones to see if they correspond to a previously described species or one we haven’t known about until now.
The discovery poses questions. The Isthmus was closed 3.5 million years ago so how did these giant South American animals pass to Costa Rica four million years earlier than previously thought if they couldn’t swim? Maybe there was a passage of land open for a period of time. They didn’t cross to North America until much later, 200,000 years ago.
Venezuelan paleontologist Ascanio Rincón, Ana Lucía Valerio Zamora and César Laurito Mora are studying the fossils of the giant sloth. The Venezuelan has studied prehistoric sloths for years allowing for comparisons to be made. The other two have studied prehistoric horses, camels, armadillos and more.