megatherium


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meg·a·the·ri·um

 (mĕg′ə-thîr′ē-əm)
n.
A large extinct ground sloth of the genus Megatherium of the Miocene Epoch through the Pleistocene Epoch.

[New Latin Megathērium, genus name : mega- + Greek thērion, wild beast; see treacle.]

meg·a·the·ri·um

(mĕg′ə-thîr′ē-əm)
A large, extinct ground sloth that lived from the Miocene through the Pleistocene Epochs, primarily in South America. It was as large as an elephant, had long curved claws, and ate plants.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.megatherium - type genus of the MegatheriidaeMegatherium - type genus of the Megatheriidae  
mammal genus - a genus of mammals
family Megatheriidae, Megatheriidae - extinct ground sloths
ground sloth, megathere - gigantic extinct terrestrial sloth-like mammal of the Pliocene and Pleistocene in America
References in classic literature ?
First, parts of three heads and other bones of the Megatherium, the huge dimensions of which are expressed by its name.
The great size of the bones of the Megatheroid animals, including the Megatherium, Megalonyx, Scelidotherium, and Mylodon, is truly wonderful.
I found myself gazing at any straggling scion of this strange race with a riveted fascination, just as one would stare at a living mastodon, or a megatherium that had moved in the grey dawn of creation and seen the wonders of that mysterious world that was before the flood.
When I found in La Plata the tooth of a horse embedded with the remains of Mastodon, Megatherium, Toxodon, and other extinct monsters, which all co-existed with still living shells at a very late geological period, I was filled with astonishment; for seeing that the horse, since its introduction by the Spaniards into South America, has run wild over the whole country and has increased in numbers at an unparalleled rate, I asked myself what could so recently have exterminated the former horse under conditions of life apparently so favourable.
We may doubt whether they have thus changed: if the Megatherium, Mylodon, Macrauchenia, and Toxodon had been brought to Europe from La Plata, without any information in regard to their geological position, no one would have suspected that they had coexisted with still living sea-shells; but as these anomalous monsters coexisted with the Mastodon and Horse, it might at least have been inferred that they had lived during one of the latter tertiary stages.
I recognized by the oblique feet that it was some extinct creature after the fashion of the Megatherium.
Unquestionably a counterpart of the Megatherium of the post-Pliocene period of the outer crust, whose fossilized skeleton has been found in South America.
There were scarcely thirty people on the look-out for him, in spite of all his clamour, when about six o'clock one summer morning the doors of the big shed in which he had been putting together his apparatus opened--it was near the big model of a megatherium in the Crystal Palace grounds--and his giant insect came droning out into a negligent and incredulous world.
Deer, antelope, bison, horses, sheep, and goats were all in sight at the same time, and at a little distance a great megatherium reared up on its huge tail and massive hind feet to tear the leaves from a tall tree.
Increased TOC (75%) after application of biofertilisers (Bacillus megatherium and Bacillus mucilaginous) compared with uninoculated control plots has also been reported by Wu et al.
New Dino: Megatherium - A giant sloth that is tameable and rideable.