STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 January 2017

Television and Movie Stars

Megatherium has appeared in a number of television and movie roles. It is typically portrayed as a slow animal about to be eaten; this is not always entirely wrong. However, one episode of Walking With Beasts discussed the animal, though briefly, as a well defended animal. This implies that it may have also been able of killing predators that attacked it.
Not all documentaries are as kind to the ground sloths and, as we have probably all seen, the internet and documentary viewing people of the world always seem to want to know what animal could beat what other animal. Due to this phenomenon there are, of course, videos that show the ground sloths fighting other contemporaneous mammals (and there are probably some links online somewhere showing it fighting dinosaurs because it is the internet). The most recent of these types of videos depicts the hypothetical clash between Megatherium and a short-faced bear (Arctodus). The reconstruction is actually a little funny, but it also represents a viable series of hypotheses that a lot of people find very compelling.

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