One-Ounce Platinum Coin - Ground Sloth (2010)
A rare platinum coin with extremely low mintage!
- Fourth issue in the Prehistoric Animals Collection
- Previous coins featuring Steppe Bison (2009) and Scimitar Cat (2008) sold out
- Extremely low mintage
- Upscale coin showcasing a long-lost and fascinating prehistoric animal
- Design approved by the Canadian Museum of Nature
A curious resident of the Ice Age
The ground sloth is one of North America’s most unusual prehistoric animals. Its peculiar bones are an intriguing and welcome find for paleontologists; so remarkable that President Thomas Jefferson felt compelled to present specimens he had received to Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society in 1797. This discussion inspired vertebrate paleontology in North America and the species Megalonyx jeffersonii is named for the third President.
Several species of Megalonyx have been named. Jefferson’s is the largest, most recent ground sloth, estimated to have appeared more than 150,000 years ago. It was a distant relative of the modern two- and three-toed sloths that spend most of their time in trees. In contrast, the Jefferson ground sloth was ox-sized, growing to 2.5 or 3 m (8 to 10 ft) long. It had a short, broad head with a blunt muzzle. The teeth were peg-like with space between the blunt fang-like teeth and wider cheek teeth.
In Canada, fossils of Jefferson’s ground sloths have been found in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, as well as the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The species became extinct about 9,000 years ago.
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