WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, N.M. (AP) — Researchers studying fossilized footprints on a New Mexico salt flat say a trail of tracks tells the story of Ice Age hunters stalking a huge sloth.
Park naturalist David Bustos says the tracks found at White Sands National Monument show someone deliberately followed a now-extinct giant ground sloth.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the team studying the prints detailed their findings in the latest edition of the journal Science Advances.
They say the sloth was 7 to 8 feet (2 meters) tall and had long, strong arms and razor-like claws.
It would have had a distinct advantage in close-quarter encounters. However, scientists say more human tracks were found a safe distance away, telling them the hunt was a community action.
The researchers estimate the footprints are at least 11,700 years old.