It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but fossil records are telling us that the early humans once hunted giant ground sloths. At least this is what a new study which the journal Science Advances recently published claims. It seems that for the first time in history, scientists have discovered some fossilized footprints of our ancestors in New Mexico. What’s even more interesting is that these small footprints were located inside some larger ones, belonging to giant ground sloths. These were some huge creatures with wolverine-like claws which once roamed the land that is now America.
According to David Bustos, the lead author of the study, the location of these footprints tells us that humans hunted and followed these creatures closely behind. This is actually a huge discovery, especially because it also proves that humans lived in that same area. Thankfully, the giant sloth is now extinct, but in the past, it was a very dangerous foe for our ancestors. It had some huge claws on its front legs and very tight muscles. They were most likely capable of tearing apart humans without much effort.
Our ancestors once hunted giant sloths
The giant sloth was an herbivore, but this wouldn’t have made hunting it any easier. This is why ancient humans were using sneak attacks to surprise the creature and therefore have a chance against it. Near the human tracks, the giant sloth tracks seem to show signs of defensive behavior and evasion. They probably feared humans too.
Bustos also said that the White Sands National Monument site has the largest concentration of Ice Age giant megafauna and human prints in America. Apart from this, this discovery might offer some clues regarding human intervention and what role they might have played in the extinction of giant sloths. According to the footprints, this confrontation took place about 11,700 years ago.
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