Fossil Footprints Show Evidence Of Humans Hunting Giant Sloths

Posted: Apr 26 2018, 1:32am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 26 2018, 5:28am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Fossil Footprints Show Primitive Humans Hunt Giant Sloths
An artist's concept of how ancient humans hunt a giant ground sloth. Image Credit: Alex McClelland / Bournemouth University

Ancient Fossil Footprints show Evidence of Primitive Humans Hunting Giant Sloths

Annually about half a million people journey to New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument in order to enjoy some time spent in the natural surroundings.

There are no large or dangerous creatures around. Only harmless animals such as coyotes and bobcats show up once in a while.

However, during the Pleistocene Era which began 2.5 million years ago, mammoths and mastodons not to mention saber tooth tigers ruled the area.

There were even 8000-pound sloths. Wherever these animals traveled, humans were sure to follow. That is because these humans hunted these animals.

Both the humans and the animals left behind them footprints which are still present today in the form of fossils. Many tracks of both animals and humans mark this territory. 27 human fossil footprints were discovered as well.

The tracks are being kept away from modern-day human interference by the authorities since they are a unique treasure from the past. While the footprints are not very well-preserved, they are the best we have for now.

It so happens to be the case that humans caused the extinction of giant sloths some 11,000 years ago. One of the sloth footprints has a human footprint right in the center of it.

The time lapse between the two is not much either. This shows that the primitive human being followed the giant sloth’s footprints within a day’s margin.

He was most probably on the lookout for the giant sloth to kill it for its meat and fur. While the scientists are not sure that this is the exact scenario that took place so long ago, the fossil evidence points in that direction.

The giant sloth probably fought back the human hunters and so many of its footprints got intermingled with human tracks.

The findings of this research got published in the journal Science Advances.

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