THE REMAINS of a giant sloth creature have been found in Ecuador.
Dubbed the 'South American yeti', the ancient animal is thought to have roamed the inter-Andean valleys thousands of years ago.
A team of palaeontologists found the 'yeti' in a mountainous area 2,500 metres above sea level.
They think it weighed around one tonne and had huge claws.
Its snout was likely adapted to withstand low temperatures and high altitudes.
When it roamed the Earth between 10,000 to 40,000 years ago it likely lived in grassland areas a few degrees warmer than they are today.
The scientific name of the ancient animal is Oreomylodon wegneri, or mountain mylodon.
Enough remains were found to build an almost complete body of the creature.
Bones of this giant beast have been being discovered in Ecuador for over 100 years.
The species has been confirmed as a unique type of ancient sloth that lived in higher grounds.
The Argentinian and Ecuadorian research team may have found a lot of remains but they still think more details need to be discovered.
They did find out interesting facts like the creatures claws were located on both its back and front legs.
Lead author of the research Román Carrión of the Polytechnic School of Quito said to research agency CTyS: "The finding of three examples in the same place makes us think that these animals lived in herds, a completely new fact for all terrestrial sloths."
It's also thought the creatures were herbivores with a strong sense of smell.
A timeline of life on Earth
The history of the planet in years…
- 4.6billion years ago – the origin of Earth
- 3.8billion years ago – first life appears on Earth
- 2.1billion years ago – lifeforms made up of multiple cells evolve
- 1.5billion years ago – eukaryotes, which are cells that contain a nucleus inside of their membranes, emerge
- 550million years ago – first arthropods evolve
- 530million years ago – first fish appear
- 470million years ago – first land plants appear
- 380million years ago – forests emerge on Earth
- 370million years ago – first amphibians emerge from the water onto land
- 320million years ago – earliest reptiles evolve
- 230million years ago – dinosaurs evolve
- 200million years ago – mammals appear
- 150million years ago – earliest birds evolve
- 130million years ago – first flowering plants
- 100million years ago – earliest bees
- 55million years ago – hares and rabbits appear
- 30million years ago – first cats evolve
- 20million years ago – great apes evolve
- 7million years ago –first human ancestors appear
- 2million years ago – Homo erectus appears
- 300,000 years ago – Homo sapiens evolves
- 50,000 years ago – Eurasia and Oceania colonised
- 40,000 years ago – Neandethal extinction
In other archaeology news, the world's smallest dinosaur has been discovered by scientists.
Ostrich egg beads were used as ‘ancient Facebook likes’ by our long-dead ancestors.
And, after 3,345 years resting in the Valley of the Kings, Tutankhamun is about to move home.
What do you make of this 'yeti' creature? Let us know in the comments…
Source: Read Full Article