Ancient Antillean Sloth Exhibited in Havana

Havana, Cuba (UCTP Taino News) – A recent discovery of an ancient sloth and other fossils are set to be exhibited in Havana’s Natural History Museum. Cuban scientists believe the sloth fossil, which was found in the central province of Sancti Spiritus, is between 18 and 20 million years old.

Similar discoveries of what are termed “the Caribbean’s oldest fossils” have also been made in the area known as Domo Zaza since the 1970s. Fossil remains found at the site include giant sloth, giant ostriches, giant crocodiles, rodents, a shark, a new species of primate, turtles, and several manatees. Research indicates that the occurrences of some of these animal groups are as old if not older then similar groups on the South American mainland. The fossils were found close to the banks of the Cayajana River, 350 km east of Havana.

The Domo Zaza site is known as a “unique” and an important paleontological and geological investigation area as the only other Antillean locality that has yielded similar land-mammal materiel of significant antiquity is located in Yauco, Puerto Rico.

Having undergone significant study in cooperation with American Museum of Natural History in New York, the fossil of the most ancient sloth of the Antilles is now a part of the permanent collection of the Havana Museum of Natural History.

UCTPTN 01.27.2008

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