Sloth Facts

Sloth Facts
Sloth is a type of weird-looking mammal characterized by slow movement in the trees. There are five subspecies of sloths that can be divided in two major groups: two-toed and three-toed sloths. All sloths live in the Central and South America. They prefer life in dense tropical and subtropical rainforests. These animals cannot adapt quickly to the changes in their environment, including habitat loss, which drastically reduces number of the sloths in the wild. Certain subspecies are already on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Sloth Facts:
Sloth is a medium sized animal. It is usually 2 to 2.5 feet long, reaching 8 to 17 pounds in weight.
Sloths have round face, sad eyes, small ears and short tail. Their body is covered with wiry fur.
Fur of the sloth can be black, brown or grey. Original color of the fur is often masked with layers of algae on its surface. This provides a camouflage against predators, by blending the color of the sloth with the color of the surrounding vegetation.
Other than algae, sloth's fur is a home of moths and other insects.
Three-toed sloths have highly flexible neck that allows rotation of head for 270 degrees in both directions.
Sloth is herbivore (plant-eater). It eats different types of leaves, fruit and twigs. Food low in energy, combined with low body metabolism leads to reduced mobility of an animal.
Sloth usually spends 20 hours per day in sleeping. Rest of the day, it eats. Sloth is nocturnal (active during the night) animal.
Sloth is arboreal (lives in the trees) creature that will rarely move down to the ground. It will leave the safety of a tree once per week to urinate and defecate. When it is on the ground it becomes easy prey for predators.
Main predators of sloths are jaguars, snakes, ocelots and birds of prey.
Sloth has very long (3 to 4 inches) and sharp claws. They are mainly used to hold the branches of the trees. Claws provide incredible strong grip that even dead sloth remains attached to the branches.
Claws are also used as a tool against predators. When attacked, sloth can bite and produce high-pitched sounds.
Sloth is a solitary creature that gathers with other sloths only during mating season.
Female vocalizes when she is ready for mating. If more males are ready to mate, they will fight slowly, using their rear legs while hanging from the branches. Winner has opportunity to mate.
Pregnancy in female lasts between 7 and 10 months and ends with one baby. Young sloth needs to grab mother's fur immediately after birth and find a breast. It will stay with mother between 6 months and 2 years.
Average lifespan of sloth is 10-16 in the wild and over 30 years in captivity.

Related Links:
Animal Facts
Animals Facts