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Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Miocene
Hapalops ruetimeyeri.JPG
Hapalops ruetimeyeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Xenarthra
Family: Megatheriidae
Subfamily: Schismotheriinae
Genus: Hapalops
Ameghino, 1887
  • H. indifferens
  • H. longiceps
  • H. longipes
  • H. latus
  • H. cadens
  • H. congermanus
  • H. gallaicus

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

Life restoration of Hapalops longiceps and Propalaehoplophorus australis

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.


  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)