The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


Megalocnus rodens Leidy, 1868:180



Myomorphus cubensis Pomel, 1868; Megalocnus rodens rodens Leidy, 1868; Oryctotherius cubensis Spencer, 1895; Megalonyx rodens Allen, 1911; Megalocnus rodens casimbae Matthew, 1959; Megalocnus ursulus Matthew, 1959; Megalocnus junius Matthew, 1959; Megalocnus intermedius Mayo, 1969
Common Name/s
Cuban giant sloth
Last Record
4,250 +/- 50 yrs BP
IUCN status
Not evaluated
TSE forum thread
The youngest radiocarbon date attained is 4,250 +/- 50 yrs (Steadman et. al. 2005). Hence this species survived well into the Holocene. But because of a lack of dateable specimens, [i]Megalocnus[/i] and [i]Homo sapiens sapiens[/i] cannot be shown to have overlapped temporally. Hence extinction by humans, though very probably the true cause, cannot be demonstrated at present.

García & Páez (2000:86) treat [i]Megalocnus rodens[/i] as a synonym of [i]M. intermedius[/i].
[b]Species Bibliography:[/b]

Alcover, Josep Antoni et al. (1998). [url=]Mammal Species of the World: Additional Data on Insular Mammals[/url]. American Museum Novitates 3248, 29 pp., 1 table.

Aranda, E., Viñola-López, L. W., & Álvarez-Lajonchere, L. (2020). New insights on the quaternary fossil record of Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 102: 102656.

Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Mancina, Carlos A., Woods, Charles A. and Kilpatrick, C. William. (2012). [url=]Chapter 7: Checklist: Updated Checklist of Endemic Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies[/url], pp. 389-415. In: Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Woods, Charles A. and Sergile, F. E. (eds.). Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies: Contributions. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Museum of Natural History and Wacahoota Press. 482 pp.

de Paula Cauto, Carlos. (1956). On two mounted skeletons of [i]Megalocnus rodens[/i]. Journal of Mammalogy 37(3): 423-427. [[url=]Abstract[/url]]

Gaudin, T. (2004). Phylogenetic relationships among sloths (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Tardigrada): the craniodental evidence. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 140: 255-305.

Ignacio Ramos García and Rafael Borroto Páez. (2000). [url=]Ejemplares tipo de mamíferos en colecciones cubanas[/url]. Orsis 15: 75-89.

MacPhee, R. D. E., Iturralde-Vinent, M. A., and Vazquez, O. J. (2007). [url=]Prehistoric Sloth Extinctions in Cuba: Implications of a New “Last” Appearance Date[/url]. Caribbean Journal of Science 43(1): 94-98.

Steadman, D. W., Martin, P. S., MacPhee, R. D. E., Jull, A. J. T., McDonald, H. G., Woods, C. A., Iturralde-Vinent, M., and Hodgins, G. W. L. (2005). [url=]Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths on continents and islands[/url]. PNAS 102(33): 11763-11768.

White, J. L. and MacPhee, R. D. E. (2001). The Sloths of the West Indies: A Systematic and Phylogenetic Review, pp. 201-236. In: Woods, C. A. and Sergile, F. E. Biogeography of the West Indies: Patterns and Perspectives. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
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