Named By: Hoffstetter - 1954.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Xenarthra, Nothrotheriidae.
Species: N. shastensis (type), N. texanus.
Size: 2.75 meters long.
Known locations: Across the USA and parts of Mexico.
Time period: Pliocene through to the end of the Pleistocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens, some nearly complete with at least one with remnants of soft tissue.
A relatively small ground sloth when compared to others such as Megatherium, Eremotherium and Glossotherium, Nothrotheriops seems to have had a similar lifestyle and dietary preference of browsing upon vegetation. One specimen of Nothrotheriops from Aden Crater in New Mexico was found in a lava tube and still had the remnants of hair and even a tendon still preserved. The best known species of Nothrotheriops is N. shastensis which is also known as the ‘Shasta ground sloth’ (after Shasta County, California).
- Reconstruction of Cranial Morphology and Analysis of Function in the Pleistocene Ground Sloth Nothrotheriops shastense (Mammalia, Megatheriidae). - Contributions in Science 389. - Virginia L. Naples - 1987.
- Nothrotheriops from the Pleistocene of Oklahoma and Paleogeography of the Genus. - The Southwestern Naturalist. 36 (2): 178–185. - W. A. Akersten & H. G. McDonald - 1991.