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Re: Mononykus, Titanis, and Ground Sloths

Richard L. Dieterle wrote:
> According to
> Farina, for an animal MegatheriumÕs size to achieve the fastest stabbing 
> speed,
> the olecranon process must be 3 to 5 inches long.  MegatheriumÕs is 4.75 
> inches.
> He believes that the claws were used particularly for flipping over and 
> stabbing
> Glyptodonts, which resemble armadillos.  So we have an animal thought to be a
> bark-stripper that now appears, on the basis of its arms, to be a carnivore.

I haven't read the article yet, and I have not recieved any posts yet in
response to this, so I can not resist. This has got to be one of the
most ludicrous theories that I have heard in a long time! Does this
apply only to Megatherium (and possibly Eremotherium as well) or does
this theory also include the Megalonychid and Mylodont sloths. There is
preserved dung  that verifies the herbivorous tendancies of the giant
sloths. Is Farina taking into account that the dentition and overall
makeup of the Megatherium's toothless premaxillary and symphesial region
of the mandible is not one of the best adaptations for a carnivorous
lifestyle? I can't stop laughing about the thought of a huge
Megatherium, perhaps a group of them, lumbering over to a pathetic
Glyptodont, flipping it over on its back, and rapidly STABBING it to
death with its claws in the soft underbelly!! Then the Megatheres gather
around and attempt, despite their edentulous mandibular symphesis and
premaxillary, to consume the murdered fellow Edentate out of its
carapace and masticate with their blund molars what small pieces of
glypto meat they could manage to bite off. Now I know what my next
painting will be!!

Of course we all know that the giant sloths evolved large claws in order
to tear down the villages of those pesky Homo sapiens that seemed to be
increasing in population at an alarming rate in the sloths' home range.

Adam Black
Paleomammal Artist
Gainesville, FL
website coming soon