|Case in point al a ©Dmitry Bogdanov|
Most of the illustrations of these animals are dark brown or black in color; however, they are often shown reaching up into solitary trees on the plains or at the edge of a forest with their backs to the plains. Undoubtedly a terrible plan as those plains were often filled with saber tooth cats, wolves, and bears. Living in groups, rather than in solitude, may have made this coloration issue less dangerous for the sloths as well. At the edge of a forest this coloration makes sense as anything looking at a giant brown animal might lose it in the dark background of a heavy forest. At a solitary tree in a savannah, however, this becomes a different story. Coloration can be justified by the history of the genus; which may have had members on South American plains as well. Many of the species of Megatherium were indigenous to South America and, covered in forest or rain forest, South America had many trees, making darker coloration more realistic.