In 1797, Thomas Jefferson was gifted the bones of a prehistoric giant sloth that weighed about four tons. Jefferson mistook the bones for those of a lion, and even warned Lewis and Clark to look out for the massive beasts on their journey westward. In 1822, an American physician proposed the name Megalonyx jeffersonii for the creature, which is still its common name.
Thomas Jefferson's Giant Sloth Bones
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Written by Curiosity Staff August 14, 2015
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