Minda Berbeco's picture

Answer Tuesday!


Photo Credit: daryl_mitchell via Compfight cc  

This past week on the Fossil Friday, I gave you a toothsome fossil. What was it? Where was it from? What epoch did it date to? You were quick to respond (not slothful at all). And what was the answer?

It was the cheek tooth from a Paramylodon sp.—aka ground sloth! This particular specimen was from the Pleistocene, and was picked out of the tar pits at Rancho La Brea

There is actually quite a bit known about the ground sloth diet. From the San Diego Zoo’s website:

“Paramylodon and other mylodon sloths [are] postulated to have dug with its powerful claws and arms for roots and tubers (Bargo et al 2006). This digging behavior in search of food added grit to the diet which may have been one factor influencing [the] evolution of their extremely high crowned teeth.”

Who was the first to identify this fossil?  Was it Joshua Vallejos who correctly identified the mastodon tooth, or Steve Bowden who answers sloth every single week? No, it was the suitably named Valerie First!  Kudos to Valerie. You win bragging rights for the week!