Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil Discovery Has Implications For Patterns Of Evolution

Date:
February 29, 2000
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A University of Toronto discovery of fossilized remains of a new specias of giant ground sloth is challenging the theory of evolutionary change of fauna between North and South America

The University of Toronto discovery of fossilized remains of a new species of giant ground sloth is challenging the theory of evolutionary change of fauna between North and South America.

Gerardo De Iuliis, a graduate and teacher in the department of zoology, and a Brazilian colleague discovered in Citrus County, Fla., fossilized skeletons of giant sloths that likely existed over two million years ago. "These giant sloths were among the earliest mammals and the largest to migrate from South America to North America after the formation of the Panamanian land bridge (present-day Central America)," he says. This species was later replaced by one called the Panamerican giant ground sloth which became extinct 10,000 years ago.

Current evolutionary theory suggests that mammals from South America were inherently inferior to and could not survive as well as their North American counterparts. "The discovery of this new species of giant sloth has significant ecological implications for this traditional theory," De Iuliis says. "These groups of sloths migrated to North America, diversified and thrived for nearly two million years which would hardly be expected for a group of inferior animals. A similar pattern can be noted for other South American mammals."

The giant ground sloth, on average the size of a small elephant, weighed about four tons and is believed to have been a herbivore. They had huge claws -- much larger than those of their modern-day tree sloth cousins -- and were probably capable of walking on their hind legs. A study, co-authored by De Iuliis, has recently been published in the Zoological Journal of Linnean Society.

CONTACT: Sue Toye
U of T Public Affairs
(416) 978-0260
sue.toye@utoronto.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Fossil Discovery Has Implications For Patterns Of Evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000228115941.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2000, February 29). Fossil Discovery Has Implications For Patterns Of Evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000228115941.htm
University Of Toronto. "Fossil Discovery Has Implications For Patterns Of Evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000228115941.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins