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Fossil Giant Ground Sloth Claw / Composite Toe


Giant Ground Sloth Meglonyx jeffersoni Pleistocene Gilchrist County, Florida

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Giant Ground Sloth

Giant Ground Sloth Meglonyx jeffersoni Pleistocene Gilchrist County, Florida. This is a Composite toe and the parts fit together well as seen in the pictures. Piece of the tip is missing which measures less than a half an inch. Pictures show entire claw no restoration on any of it.

Sloths belong to the group called Xenarthrans, formerly called Edentata, including anteaters, glyptodonts, armadillos and sloths.  Those from Florida evolved in South America.  Most fossil xenarthrans have no enamel on their teeth, but the teeth continued to grow throughout the life of the animal so as to compensate for this.
There were basically three different types or genus of sloths in Florida, the mylodontids, the megalonychids, and the megatheres.   The megalonychids which arrived in the late Miocene and lasted until the late Pleistocene.  These start with the Pliometanastes  and grow progressively larger through M. curvidens, (early Pliocene), leptostomus, (late Pliocene-early Pleistocene) M. wheatleyi, and M. jeffersonii. These sloths had more curved, flat claw cores, as did the eremotheres.  In the teeth that follow, the smaller teeth are those of the earlier sloths.


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