Ellengassen

Unknown sloth-like mammal of South America.

Etymology: Tehuelche (Chon) word. Variant names: Lobo-toro (Spanish equivalent of Araucanian word meaning "wolf bull"), Lofo-toro.

Physical description: The size of a bull. Long hair.

Behavior: Roars or howls like a wolf. Herbivore. Makes its den in a cave.

Tracks: Like a wooden shoe with two cleats across the sole, according to a lone report from 1898.

Distribution: Patagonia, especially in Lago Buenos Aires area of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina; southern Mendoza Province, Argentina.

Present status: Probably extinct. Possible explanations:

(1) May represent a recently surviving Patagonian cave-dwelling sloth (Mylodon darwinii), subfossil remains of which are known from the Cueva del Milodón in southern Chile. Manuel Palacios told Bruce Chatwin there was a rock painting of a Mylodon in the Monumento Natural los Bosques Petrificados, Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia.

(2) Muddled Indian legends of Jaguars (Panthera onca) and feral oxen. Sources: Francisco P. Moreno, Viaje á la

Patagonia austral, emprendido bajo los auspicios del gobierno nacional, 1876—1877 (Buenos Aires: La Nación, 1879), p. 395; Santiago Roth, "Descripción de los restos encontrados en la Caverna de Ultima Esperanza," in "El mamífero misterioso de la Patagonia, II," Revista del Museo de La Plata 9 (1899): 421-453; H. Hesketh Prichard, Through the Heart ofPatagonia (New York: D. Appleton, 1902); Robert and Katharine Barrett, A Yankee in Patagonia: Edward Chace (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931), p. 30; Carlos Rusconi, "La supuesta existencia de Milodontes en la Patagonia Austral (Milodon listai)," Revista del Museo de Historia Natural de Mendoza 3 (1949): 252-264; Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia (New York: Summit, 1977), p. 72.

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