Mylodon darwinii Owen (year?)

Darwin's ground sloth, Milodon



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Milodon darwini (orth. error used by (Prates & perez, 2021))


Conservation Status


Last record: Late Pleistocene or Holocene



South America


Biology & Ecology










Barnett, R. and Sylvester, S. (2010). Does the ground sloth, Mylodon darwinii, still survive in South America? Deposits Magazine 23: 8-11.

Baskin J.A. 2005 Carnivora from the late Miocene Love Bone Bed of Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 45(4), 413-434.

Borrero, Luis Alberto and Martin, Fabiana María. (2012). Taphonomic observations on ground sloth bone and dung from Cueva del Milodón, Ultima Esperanza, Chile: 100 years of research history. Quaternary International 278: 3-11. [Abstract]

Brambilla, Luciano and Haro, José Augusto. (2022). A comparative study of the postcranial skeleton of Patagonian and Pampean specimens of the Pleistocene giant sloth genus Mylodon Owen, 1839 (Xenarthra, Pilosa) and its implications. Historical Biology.

Brambilla, Luciano and Ibarra, Damián A. (2018). The occipital region of late Pleistocene Mylodontidae of Argentina. Boletín del Instituto de Fisiografía y Geología 88: @-@.

Andrew A. Clack, Ross D.E. MacPhee, Hendrik N. Poinar. (2012). Mylodon darwinii DNA sequences from ancient fecal hair shafts. Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger 194(1): 26-30. [Abstract]

Dantas, Mário A. T., Campbell, Sean Cody and McDonald, H. Gregory. (2023). Paleoecological inferences about the Late Quaternary giant ground sloths from the Americas. Research Square preprint.

Delsuc, Frédéric et al. (2018). Resolving the phylogenetic position of Darwin's extinct ground sloth (Mylodon darwinii) using mitogenomic and nuclear exon data. Proc. R. Soc. B 285(1878): 20180214.

Emerling, Christopher A. and Springer, Mark S. (2015). Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra. Proceedings of the Royal Society, ser. B 282(1800). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2192 [Abstract]

Richard A. Fariña, P. Sebastián Tambusso, Luciano Varela, Ada Czerwonogora, Mariana Di Giacomo, Marcos Musso, Roberto Bracco and Andrés Gascue. (2014). Arroyo del Vizcaíno, Uruguay: a fossil-rich 30-ka-old megafaunal locality with cut-marked bones. Proc. R. Soc. B 281(1774): 20132211.

Fernicola, J. C., Vizcaino, F, and de Iuliis, G. (2009). The Fossil Mammals collected by Charles Darwin in South America during his travels on board the HMS Beagle. Revista de la Asociatión Geológica Argentina 64(1): 147-159.

Gallo, V. et al. (2013). Distributional patterns of herbivore megamammals during the Late Pleistocene of South America. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. 85(2): 533-546.

van Geel, Bas et al. (2022). Diet and environment of Mylodon darwinii based on pollen of a Late-Glacial coprolite from the Mylodon Cave in southern Chile. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 296: 104549.

Greenwood, Alex D., Castresana, Jose, Feldmaier-Fuchs, Gertraud and Pääbo, Svante. (2000). A molecular phylogeny of two extinct sloths. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(1): 94-103.

Haro, José A., Tauber, Adan A. and Krapovickas, Jerónimo M. (2016). The manus of [i]Mylodon darwinii[/i] Owen (Tardigrada, Mylodontidae) and its phylogenetic implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1188824 [Abstract]

Haro, José A., Tauber, Adan A. and Krapovickas, Jerónimo M. (2017). Thoracic member (pectoral girdle and forelimb) bones of [i]Mylodon darwinii[/i] Owen (Xenarthra, Mylodontidae) from the Late Pleistocene of Central Argentina and their phylogenetic implications. Paläontologische Zeitschrift. doi:10.1007/s12542-017-0350-z

Hofreiter, Michael, Betancourt, Julio L., Sbriller, Alicia Pelliza, Markgraf, Vera and McDonald, H. Gregory. (2003). Phylogeny, diet, and habitat of an extinct ground sloth from Cuchillo Curá, Neuqueń Province, southwest Argentina. Quaternary Research 59: 364-378.

Höss, Matthias, Dilling, A., Currant, A. and Pääbo, S. (1996). Molecular phylogeny of the extinct ground sloth Mylodon darwinii. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93: 181-185.

Hughes, Jonathan J. (2016). Resolving the xenarthran phylogeny using nuclear loci. Thesis, McMaster University. xi + 73 pp.

Hunt, Adrian P. and Lucas, Spencer G. (2018). The record of sloth coprolites in North and South America: implications for terminal Pleistocene extinctions. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 79: 277-298.

Karpinski, Emil. (2021). Mammoths, mastodons, and chronospatial warming: evolutionary analyses of Pleistocene proboscideans from temperate and tropical locales. PhD thesis, McMaster University.

Lönnberg, E. (1900). On a Remarkable Piece of Skin from Cueva Eberhardt, Last Hope Inlet, Patagonia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London [1900]: 379-384.

Lopes, Renato Pereira et al. (2021). The Santa Vitória Alloformation: an update on a Pleistocene fossil-rich unit in Southern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Geology 51(1): e2020065.

Markgraf, V. (1985). Late Pleistocene faunal extinctions in southern Patagonia. Science 228: 1110-1112.

McDonald, H. Gregory. (2018). An Overview of the Presence of Osteoderms in Sloths:Implications for Osteoderms as a Plesiomorphic Character of the Xenarthra. J. Mammal Evol. 25: 485-493.

McDonald, H. Gregory. (2023). A Tale of Two Continents (and a Few Islands): Ecology and Distribution of Late Pleistocene Sloths. Land 12(6): 1192.

Moreno, Francesco P. (1899). Note on the Discovery of Miolania and of Glossotherium (Neomylodon) in Patagonia. Geological Magazine Decade IV. Volume VI, no. IX: 25-29.

Oren, D. C. (2001). Does the Endangered Xenarthran Fauna of Amazonia Include Remnant Ground Sloths? Edentata [2001]: 2-5.

Oyarzún-Ruiz, Pablo et al. (2021). Paleoparasitological survey of coprolites of Darwin’s ground sloth Mylodon darwini (Xenarthra, Folivora: Mylodontidae) from Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument, Chilean Patagonia. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 13: 138.

Prates, Luciano and Perez, S. Ivan. (2021). Late Pleistocene South American megafaunal extinctions associated with rise of Fishtail points and human population. Nature Communications 12: 2175.

Slater, Graham J. et al. (2016). Evolutionary Relationships among Extinct and Extant Sloths: The Evidence of Mitogenomes and Retroviruses. Genome Biol. Evol. 8(3): 607-621.

Steadman, David W. et al. (2005). Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths on continents and islands. PNAS 102(33): 11763-11768.

Steele J., Politis G. 2009 AMS 14C dating of early human occupation of southern South America. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(2), 419-429.

Tejada, Julia V., Flynn, John J., MacPhee, Ross, O'Connell, Tamsin C., Cerling, Thure E., Bermudez, Lizette, Capuñay, Carmen, Wallsgrove, Natalie and Popp, Brian N. (2021). Isotope data from amino acids indicate Darwin’s ground sloth was not an herbivore. Scientific Reports 11: 18944.

Varela, Luciano, Clavijo, Lucía, Tambusso, P. Sebastián and Fariña, Richard A. (2023). A window into a late Pleistocene megafauna community: Stable isotopes show niche partitioning among herbivorous taxa at the Arroyo del Vizcaíno site (Uruguay). Quaternary Science Reviews 317: 108286.

Varela, Luciano and Fariña, Richard A. (2016). Co-occurrence of mylodontid sloths and insights on their potential distributions during the late Pleistocene. Quaternary Research 85(1): 66-74. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2015.11.009 [Abstract]

Varela, Luciano and Tambusso, P. Sebastián. (2023). 3D models related to the publication: 3D Finite Element Analysis and Geometric Morphometrics of Sloths (Xenarthra, Folivora) Mandibles Show Insights on the Dietary Specializations of Fossil Taxa. Journal of South American Earth Sciences.

Varela, Luciano, Tambusso, P. Sebastián, Patiño, Santiago J., Di Giacomo, Mariana and Fariña, Richard A. (2017). Potential Distribution of Fossil Xenarthrans in South America during the Late Pleistocene: co-Occurrence and Provincialism. Journal of Mammalian Evolution. [Abstract]


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