There are two main species of sloths; two and three toed.
- 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
- Can rotate their heads 270 degrees