Project 3116: H. G. McDonald, A. D. Rincon, T. J. Gaudin. 2013. A new genus of megalonychid sloth (Mammalia, Xenarthra) from the late Pleistocene (Lujanian) of Sierra de Perija, Zulia State, Venezuela. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 33 (5):1226-1238.
Specimen: † Hapalops (unvouchered)
View: skeleton


A skull and a partial skeleton of a large late Pleistocene megalonychid sloth recovered from a cave on Cerro Pintado, Sierra de Perij√° Mountain Range, a branch of the northern Andes, in Zulia State, Venezuela, is described as a new genus and species, Megistonyx oreobios. A cladistic analysis of the new taxon based on cranial characters indicates that it is closely related to Ahytherium, another late Pleistocene megalonychid from South America known from cranial remains, and suggests that there may have been at least two distinct clades within the family since the late Miocene. Megistonyx oreobios is one of a number of extinct sloth taxa found at high elevations in South America and suggests that many extinct sloth taxa were not as thermally sensitive as their modern relatives and were capable of living under colder climatic conditions.

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Article DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2013.764883

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3116,
This project contains
  • 2 Media
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  • 11 Taxa
  • 2 Specimens
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MorphoBank Project 3116
  • Creation Date:
    23 February 2018
  • Publication Date:
    23 February 2018
  • Project views: 2673

    Authors' Institutions

    • National Park Service

    • University of Tennessee Chattanooga

    • Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cient√≠ficas (IVIC)


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