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Article: The mylodontine ground sloth Glossotherium tropicorum from the late Pleistocene of Ecuador and Peru

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 3 Part 4 - Cover
Publication: Papers in Palaeontology
Volume: 3
Part: 4
Publication Date: November 2017
Page(s): 613 636
Author(s): Gerardo De Iuliis, Cástor Cartelle, H. Gregory McDonald, and François Pujos
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1088
Addition Information

How to Cite

DE IULIIS, G., CARTELLE, C., MCDONALD, H.G., PUJOS, F. 2017. The mylodontine ground sloth Glossotherium tropicorum from the late Pleistocene of Ecuador and Peru. Papers in Palaeontology, 3, 4, 613-636. DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1088

Author Information

  • Gerardo De Iuliis - Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Toronto Toronto ON Canada (Email:
  • Gerardo De Iuliis - Section of Palaeobiology Department of Natural History Royal Ontario Museum Toronto ON Canada
  • Cástor Cartelle - PUC Minas Belo Horizonte Minas Gerais Brazil (Email:
  • H. Gregory McDonald - Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office Salt Lake City UT USA (Email:
  • François Pujos - Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA) Mendoza Argentina (Email:

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 09 November 2017
  • Manuscript Accepted: 16 July 2017
  • Manuscript Received: 23 December 2016

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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New mylodontine (Xenarthra, Pilosa) sloth remains from the late Pleistocene tar seep localities of Corralito (Ecuador) and Talara (Peru) are described, and the taxonomic history of the extinct ground sloth genus Glossotherium is reviewed. Based on the new material and comparisons with Glossotherium robustum, Glossotherium wegneri, and the North American taxon, Paramylodon harlani, the species Glossotherium tropicorum is considered to be valid and a new definition of its diagnostic characters is provided. Glossotherium tropicorum is similar in size to Glossotherium robustum and Glossotherium wegneri but differs in several respects from these species, such as having a more elongated and slender skull. In this respect it more closely resembles Paramylodon harlani in North America, which is also similar in size. Glossotherium tropicorum is one of two mylodontine sloths found in the upper Pleistocene of north‐western South America, the other being Glossotherium wegneri. While both are present in this region their individual distributions did not overlap and the two species have not been recovered together in a fauna. The distribution of Glossotherium tropicorum is restricted to lowland coastal areas whereas Glossotherium wegneri is found inland and in the highland areas of the Andes, suggesting significant differences in their ecology.

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