Two Toed SlothCholoepus didactylus
Class: Mammalia Order: Pilosa Family: Megalonychidae
leaves, buds, and fruit.
Habitat & Range
Rainforests of Central and South America
- Sloths are the slowest moving mammals and spend nearly all of their time in trees. They only cover about 125 feet in a single day.
- Sloths can’t walk, so they must crawl when on the ground using their forelimbs. They are surprisingly adept at swimming, however.
- Sloths have long course fur. Their fur is unique because it flows from their belly to their back to allow rainwater to slide off when they are hanging. A sloth’s fur may be greenish from algae growth. The algae helps provide the sloth with nutrients and camouflage among the foliage.
- Sloths move slowly, but it isn’t because they are lazy. Their diet of leaves provides them with very little energy, so they have very low metabolisms and body temperatures. Sloths have the most variable body temperature of any mammal, and it fluctuates with the time of day and weather.
While they are currently listed as least concern, two toed sloths still face many threats. They are losing their forest homes to logging and agriculture. Sloths are also threatened by poaching and the illegal pet trade.