Megatherium (/mɛɡəˈθɪəriəm/ meg-ə-THEER-ee-əm from the Greek mega [μέγας], meaning "great", and therion [θηρίον], "beast") was a genus of elephant-sized ground sloths endemic to South America, sometimes called the giant ground sloth, that lived from the Early Pliocene through the end of the Pleistocene. Only a few other land mammals equaled or exceeded Megatherium in size, such as large proboscideans (e. g. , elephants) and the giant rhinoceros Paraceratherium. Megatherium was first discovered in 1788 on the bank of the Luján River in Argentina, the holotype specimen was then shipped to Spain the following year wherein it caught the attention of the esteemed paleontologist Georges Cuvier, Cuvier was the first to determine that Megatherium was a sloth.
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