Quick Facts about Sloths

, , Leave a comment

Sloths are essentially slow-moving animals found in the rain forest of South and Central America. They are found on the huge canopy like trees. Although there are four species of sloths, only two are notable, two-toed and the other, three-toed.

Sloths can stay on a tree for several years. They have extended arms and huge hook like claws that help them to hang upside-down from the branches of trees.

Here are some lesser known facts about the sloths.

  • They look like small dogs and most of them are small in size. Their heads are short and appear to be flat in nature, with grayish brown hair all over the body. They can even look greenish brown because small camouflaging algae happen to grow all over their body due to their extreme slow movement.

  • Their metabolism and digestion rate is very slow. Therefore they need to consume very little food. Generally they feed on buds, leaves, fruit and small twigs. A sloth has four different parts of the stomach that may take months to digest a food.

  • Ironically, while giving birth, the mother remains upside down. The small babies hang on to their mother until they are able to move on their own. Their muscles are very strong hence they can easily remain clung to trees. They are even known to stay hanging from trees after death.

  • Sloths are nocturnal mammals so they sleep in the day time with their head plunged into the gap between arms and feet.  This makes them look like a part of the trees so that predator animals like jaguars and tigers are unable to spot them. They barely get down from the trees they stay in.

  • They have the potential to hang upside-down constantly for 18 hours or more. The three-toed specie can climb a liana as well. These trees have branches that allow arboreal animals such as sloths to jump from one tree to another.

  • Several thousand years back, sloths that were huge in size lived in North America. It can be estimated from their claws that they grew as big as an elephant and they fed on leaves and twigs like modern day sloths.

  • They have adapted themselves to hanging so well that they can even fornicate while hanging! They leave their tree only once in a week when they have to excrete and urinate. This is the time when animals like eagles make them their prey.

  • The only attacking capability or weapon of a sloth is its claws. But the claws are not well developed and exhibit slow movement. It can only be camouflaged which makes it difficult for the predator to notice the sloth.

  • Sloths are very good swimmers as well. When they drop into a water body from the trees, they use their long arms for broad strokes and swim through.  But the animal is pretty lazy and lethargic.

  • A sloth moves very slowly. It can cover a distance of just two meters in a minute. They hold on to the trees with their sharp claws which can extend upto 3 to 4 inches in length.

Sloths are not violent in nature and spend most of their lifetime sleeping. Their diet provides very little energy to them.

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]

Leave a Reply