The Ground Sloths (Pilosa) of South Carolina


  • Steven E Fields Culture and Heritage Museums, 4621 Mount Gallant Rd, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29732
  • H Gregory McDonald Park Museum Management Program, National Park Service, 1201 Oakridge Drive, Suite 150, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525
  • James L Knight South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29202
  • Albert E Sanders The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29403


Ground sloths, South Carolina, Eremotherium, Megalonyx, Paramylodon


A summary of museum and literature records of ground sloths collected from South Carolina is presented. The ground sloth record in South Carolina consists of three genera, Eremotheirum with two species, Megalonyx with three species and Paramylodon with one species. Three of these species, Eremotherium eomigrans and Megalonyx leptostomus from the Blancan and Megalonyx wheatleyi from the Irvingtonian are new records for the state. An early Pliocene specimen of M. leptostomus is the earliest record of sloths from South Carolina. The fossil record of sloths in the state extends from the Pliocene (Blancan) through the Pleistocene (Late Rancholabrean) and is confined to sedimentary deposits on the Coastal Plain.

South Carolina and ground sloth fossil localities: A) Map of United States showing location of South Carolina; B) Map of South Carolina showing physiographic provinces; C) Localities on the Coastal Plain of South Carolina where ground sloth fossils have been collected. Map by S. Fields