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Megatherium ("Great Beast") is a genus of elephant-sized ground sloths that live in the Forbidden Mountains.


Unlike its outworld relatives, the tree sloths, Megatherium is one of the largest mammals to walk the Earth, weighing five tons, about as much as an African bull elephant. Although it is primarily a quadruped, it is capable of assuming a bipedal stance. When it stands on its hind legs, it is about twice the height of an elephant, or about twenty feet tall. This sloth, like an outworld anteater, walks on the sides of its feet because its claws prevent it from putting them flat on the ground.

Megatherium has a robust skeleton with a large pelvic girdle and a broad muscular tail. Its large size enables it to feed at heights unreachable by most other indigenous herbivores (with the exception of Paraceratherium. Rising on its powerful hind legs and using its tail to form a tripod, Megatherium can support its massive body weight while using the curved claws on its long forelegs to pull down branches with the choicest leaves.


They inhabit caves high up in the Forbidden Mountains.


Megatherium is a herbivorous animal and, although it can stand on its hind legs, using its tail as a balancing tripod, to reach for vegetation, the giant ground sloth feeds chiefly on terrestrial plants.

Megatheriums live singly in caves.

Diet and feeding habits[]

Pulling itself upright to sit on its haunches or to stand, the giant ground sloth balances its weight with its tail. It then tuggs at plants with its feet, digging them up with the five sharp claws on each foot. The sloth uses its simple teeth to grind down food before swallowing it, and its highly developed cheek muscles help in this process. The sloth's stomach is able to digest coarse and fibrous food.

In the books[]

Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara[]