Argentine scientists have described a giant sloth that lived in the mountainous regions of modern Ecuador 10-40 thousand years ago. His body has adapted to survive in low temperatures at high altitudes, according to CTyS-UNLaM.
The species was named Oreomylodon wegneri, which means “mountain milodon”. The animal had a wider muzzle than all its known brethren. This feature made it possible to "humidify" dry air during inhalation and retain moisture during exhalation.
Probably, sloths possessed an extremely sensitive sense of smell, with the help of which they found partners and determined their own or someone else's territory. The front and hind legs of these South American Yeti were equipped with long claws. Standing on their hind legs, they reached two meters in height, and on all fours resembled a small car in size.
Despite such frightening characteristics, sloths did not pose a danger to other species, as they ate exclusively plant foods.
The remains of these animals were found at an altitude of 2500-3100 meters in the central and northern parts of Ecuador. Scientists noted that in prehistoric times, these lands were covered with grassy meadows, but the climate was 6-7 degrees colder than the current one.
Obviously, Oreomylodon wegneri is a unique species that lived exclusively in the highlands. In addition, these creatures could live in flocks, which is extremely atypical for modern sloths.
The history of giant milodons ended about 10 thousand years ago, with the end of the last ice age. Together with them, other representatives of the megafauna became extinct, such as mastodons and saber-toothed tigers.