New research published Wednesday in Science Advances suggests that early humans probably ate gigantic ox-sized sloths.
The research – a joint effort between researchers from the University of Arizona and the U.S. National Parks Service – drew on evidence from the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, where fossilized footprints provide data about creatures that roamed the area between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago.
The research team discovered over 250 giant sloth tracks, often accompanied by human footprints, suggesting that the humans were hunting them. Indeed, scientists have long believed that humans are part of the reason why they went extinct, and the newly discovered footprints give credence to that theory.
Taking down a single sloth would have been an achievement worth celebrating, since they provided about 600,000 calories.