X is for Xenarthra
The Xenarthra is a group of mammals known for a “strange joint” (what ‘xenarthra’ roughly translates to) in their vertebral column. Xenarthrans include sloths and armadillos, and the extinct giant ground sloths and massive armored glyptodonts.
That some sloths were massive leads scientists to question what made up the diet of these giant mammals. There is evidence that most giant sloths were herbivores, but there are some characteristics that suggest that at least some giant sloths could have been carrion feeders or even active hunters. Bochrens et al. (2017) use stable isotopes to address this question. Continue reading “X is for Xenarthra #AtoZChallenge”