While at the Peabody museum in New Haven, CT (you guessed it, Jerry!), J and I came across Nothrotherium shastense, a ground sloth. The Yale specimen is really impressive - it's a complete skeleton held together by ligaments and tendons and it even has some patches of hair. The impressive part? It's 11,000 years old! The sloth apparently fell to its death over 100 feet into a pit next to Aden Crater in New Mexico. It was found in 1928, along with a dung ball containing bits of wood. When the skeleton was first found and prepared, it was treated with carbon-containing materials, so dating methods were, right off, considered to be flawed. However, the dung ball was untreated and was used as a reference. There was a 1,000 year difference between the calculated ages of the dung ball and skeleton. According to the display at the museum, the soft parts of the sloth would have been preserved as well, had it not been for rats. Much of the specimen showed rat-bite damage.
I got really excited when I saw the skeleton because I thought it was another organism bearing my last name, like Quetzecoatlus northropi. I just realized, though, as I was posting this, that "Nothrotherium" is one "r" off. Oh well. Anyone know the etymology of the name "Nothrotherium"?