Wild Animals

Sloth

posted: 04/29/14
sloth-little-debbie-2600w-250x150
Read more Read less
Sloth
MikeLake45/Thinkstock

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm a Sloth, and I'm happy to be celebrating Sloth Week with my friends at Animalist!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: Tropical Rainforests in Central and South America

What I Like to Eat: Leaves and Plants

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: "Sloth" is also listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. You know - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, etc. Well, Sloth represents both spiritual and physically laziness. We may be slow, but we certainly take issue with being called lazy.

Why I am Famous: Sloths have the distinct title of being the slowest mammal on the Earth. This title is well deserved because everything about us is slow including our metabolism. Since the leaves that we eat are not very nutritious, we lack the energy needed just to move around.

Hobbies: Sleeping. We are a lethargic bunch that likes to spend the majority of our lives sleeping up to 20 hours a day hanging from tree branches in the rainforests.

Our Favorite Body Part: Our long arms and long, four-inch curled claws. They allow us to securely grip on branches staying there indefinitely. Some of us have two-toes, while others have three.

Best Friends: Algae. Because of our idle lifestyle, tiny algae grow on the sloth's fur giving our brown or black coats a green-looking appearance. The algae end up serving a useful purpose. They become camouflage hiding us from predators like jaguars, birds and even man.

Waterlog: Fossils have been found showing that our great-great-great-great-great grandparents (pre-historic sloths) started off as land creatures but transitioned to aquatic creatures living in shallow waters. Today's sloths are also great swimmers, but this is one skill we rarely use.

Why We Love Trees: They are our safe-haven. When we leave the safe-arms of the branches, we can become vulnerable on the ground. Our long claws help them high above but can hurt us below. To move around, we must dig into the ground with our front claws and pull ourselves along with our front legs while our bellies drag. Ideally, the sloth's time on land should be short-lived. If a dangerous predator approaches, we would be forced to use our claws for survival.

Another Reason Why We Love Trees: With everything we need above ground - including food companionship and shelter, we hardly ever leave. Sloths even mate upside down, and when it's time for the mother to give birth, you still find her in the same position.

More on
Wild Animals