|A reconstruction of Hiskatherium santandrei from Pujos' study|
|The fossils of Hiskatherium saintandrei|
Pujos published the findings of the study in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. The team believe that Hiskatherium was related to small ground-dwelling sloths such as Hapalops which possibly possessed climbing capabilities. The name Hiskatherium is derived from the Bolivian word 'hiska,' meaning small. Its peg-like teeth suggest that it fed upon tough plant material. However the rich nature of the American grasslands means that it probably fed upon soft leaves but could eat tougher material in harder times, such as during a drought.
Soft, nutritious leaves tend to grow in the canopy layer of forests. If Hiskatherium did indeed feed upon such plants, then it would have had to have been able to climb. Its close relationship to potentially arboreal sloths such as Hapalops show that this theory is perfectly plausible. It is possible that it gave rise to the arboreal sloths, while an evolutionary cousin was the ancestor of the giant ground sloths. Hopefully, palaeontologists will discover more remains or possibly even a complete skeleton, allowing us greater insight into the life of this remarkable creature.