Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center

The Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center is a non-profit organization that gives animals a second chance at life. Our dedicated staff and selfless volunteers work tirelessly to help these animals heal, keep them safe, rehabilitate them, and eventually re-release them into their natural habitat in the Costa Rican rainforest.

 

There are two main species of sloths; two and three toed.

Facts

  • Lifespan 20-30 years
  • 60-80 cm long (24-31 inches)
  • 3.5-6 kg (8-17 pounds)

Despite their reputation, sloths only sleep an average of 10 hours a day. They are the world's slowest mammal, reaching an average speed of 4 meters (14 feet) a minute.

They do most things upside down: eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth. Because of their upside down life, many of their internal organs (liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas) are in different positions from other mammals. They have 4 inch curved nails to help them hang from the branches, where they spend the majority of their time. In fact they only climb down once a week to go "relieve" themselves.

Although mostly docile, sloths can defend themselves with their sharp claws.Their main form of protection however is their camouflage. Predators, beside people, include large snakes, harpy and other birds. Also, jaguars and ocelots are a danger when the sloth is on the ground. On the ground it moves extremely slowly. Surprisingly, sloths are good swimmers.

 

Other interesting facts

  • Low metabolic rates: Three chambered stomach takes a week to process food

  • Heterothermic: Body temperature changes according to environment

Comparing Two and Three Toed Sloths

Three Toed

  • Can rotate their heads 270 degrees
  • Diurnal

Two Toed

  • Larger
  • Nocturnal