If not for giant sloths, we might not have avocados to enjoy today.
Prehistoric ground sloths first appeared around 35 million years ago. Dozens of species lived across North, Central and South America, alongside other ancient creatures like mastodons and giant armadillos. Some ground sloths, like the megalonychid, were cat-sized, but many were massive. The Megalonyx weighed about a ton, and that was small compared to megatherium, which could reach six metric tons, as much as an elephant. They ambled through the forests and savannas using their strong arms and sharp claws to uproot plants and climb trees, grazing on grasses, leaves, and prehistoric avocados. Smaller animals couldn’t swallow the avocado’s huge seed, but the sloths could,and they spread avocado trees far and wide.
This coarse-haired creature is such an agile climber that even the most skilled predators cannot catch it from its treetop habitat. People once thought captive specimens enjoyed human contact because they would climb onto their keepers’ backs, but it was later discovered that they simply detest being on the ground and will scale any upright object to avoid it - even a person.