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Re: CARNIVOROUS SLOTHS



I have studied and acquired measurements of Rancho La Brean Smilodon for 
more than 22 years. Further, I have collected data and publications on 
this and other saber - toothed cats for some time. Smilodon was heavier 
than a big Siberian tiger. Though the giant lion was larger still, it's 
skeleton was no where near as robust as that of Smilodon.There is no 
doubt in my mind or the minds of a lot of other people, that Smilodon 
could take down a sloth. Sloth capabilities were probably defensive.Some 
sloths also evolved body armor ( pellets of bone embedded in the skin 
).Jaws of sloths I've worked on have grinding molars, not teeth modified 
for eating meat.I can't see them as carnivorous, but I can see them 
evolving defences against predators like Smilodon, a felid that could take 
down prey five times its own size ( Gonyea, 1976 I believe ).

Steve

Stephen Faust                   smfaust@edisto.cofc.edu