Walk Like a Sloth–lesson 11: the toes

Introduction to Walk Like a Sloth: lessons in ground sloth locomotion

compassGetting Oriented

Like you, and unlike tree sloths and most other ground sloths, Megalonyx had five (5) toes on each foot.  Your toes, like your fingers, have three (3) phalanges (segments) each, except your big toe and thumb which each have just two (2) phalanges. Megalonyx is the same, only the middle toe is the big toe, and has two (2) bones.  In Megalonyx the proximal phalanx (the bone closer to the body) and medial phalanx (middle bone) of the 3rd toe are fused, so completely that all traces that they started out as two separate bones have vanished. What looks like the proximal phalanx is actually the third metatarsal.

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