Hapalops

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Pilosa
Subordo: Folivora
Familia: †Megatheriidae
Subfamilia: Schismotheriinae
Genus: Hapalops
Species: H. indifferens - H. longicers - H. longipes - H. latus - H. cadens - H. congermanus - H. gallaicus - H. ruetimeyeri

Name

Hapalops Ameghino, 1887

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Hapalops is an extinct genus of ground sloth from the late Oligocene of South America.

Though related to the giant Megatherium, Hapalops was much smaller, measuring about 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length. Like most extinct sloths it is categorized as a ground sloth, but it is believed that the smaller size of Hapalops allowed it to engage in some climbing behaviors[1]. It had a robust body, short skull and long limbs with large, curved claws. When it did visit the ground the animal probably walked on the knuckles of its forelimbs, like a gorilla. Hapalops had very few teeth with no incisors, the mandible included only four pairs of teeth.[2][3]

Hapalops represents a taxonomic nightmare in need of revision with approximately 30 different species assigned to the genus, most of which are likely superfluous.

References

1. ^ White, J. 1993. Indicators of locomotor habits in Xenarthrans: Evidence for locomotor heterogeneity among fossil sloths. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 13(2): 230-242
2. ^ Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 207. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
3. ^ Grupopaleo (in Spanish)

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