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Sloths

SLOTH 4-28.jpg

COMMON NAME: Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Choloepus didactylus

TYPE: Mammals
DIET: Herbivore, leaves, occasional fruit,

known to eat bird's eggs, lizards and insects
GROUP NAME: Snuggle

YOUNG NAME: There is no specific name for baby sloths,

but The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

suggests the word 'Slowbie'
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: about 20 years and

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN CAPTIVITY: 30 to 40 years
LENGTH: 21 to 29 inches
WEIGHT: 9 to 17 pounds

 

1. Sloths are around three times stronger than humans. Although they may be small, they are very strong and one of their arms alone can lift up their entire body weight. That being said sloths do have 30% less muscle mass than other animals their size.

 

2. Sloths are blind. They have a condition known as Monochromacy which means they lack cone cells in their eyes. This leads to them being colour-blind with a great lack of vision. This is also why sloths do not run as fast.

 

3. Sloths have an amazing sense of smell. To make up for their eyesight, sloths have a great sense of smell and therefore they have a great spatial memory. 

 

4. They are faster in the water than they are on land. Sloths can swim three times as fast in the water as they can on land. This is partly due to them being able to keep their nose above water while swimming.

 

5. There are two different types of sloths and 6 subspecies within the two types. These sloths are the toed and three-toed sloths and they roam the rainforests in Central and South America. Liberty Acres' sloths, here in North Carolina are called "Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths.

 

6. They prefer to be in trees. It is not often that a sloth will leave their tree and they view it as their home. Their home is seen as the safest place for them as it is high above the ground and they can protect themselves from predators. Here in North Carolina, they love climbing on structures in their safe enclosure.

 

7. Sloth mums give birth in trees. The mother will give birth up in the trees and scoop her baby up after birth and lay it across her stomach.

 

8. They can hang upside down. This is partly due to their intense amounts of upper body strength, but they also breathe better this way.

 

9. A sloth can turn their head 270 degrees. This is because they have two extra vertebrae in their neck.

 

10. They are super slow. Sloths are slow because it is part of their energy-saving techniques which helps regulate their body temperature. Slow North Carolina living is a mindset where you adopt a lifestyle that's in line with good values. Our North Carolina sloths got slow living down to a science.

 

11. Sloths are herbivores. This means that they eat lots of leaves and fruit, basically they live as vegetarians. Our sloths love local North Carolina zucchini, corn on the cob, carrots, and leafy greens.

12. They can turn green. Sloths can grow a layer of algae as a camouflage method to help protect them from predators. 

 

13. They’ve been around since the ice age. Giant sloths have been around since the ice age and were known as the Megatheriums which were the size of an elephant.

 

14. They love sleeping. Sloths sleep on average 15-20 hours within a day. 

 

15. Two fingered sloths have a stomach with 46 ribs. This is more than any other animal and means it takes them a long time to digest anything.

 

16. Sloths can fall 100 feet without injury. Sloths are designed to fall out of trees and they fall out of them on average once a week. 

 

17. The oldest sloth just turned 50 years old. Sloths are suspected to live much longer than this but there’s not enough research on how long they live just yet. 

 

18. Three-toed sloths are extremely picky and only eat the leaves from the trees where they were born. 

 

19. All sloths have three toes, although the names of their species make you think otherwise.

 

20. Sloths are actually the slowest mammal in the world, so if you are planning on challenging an animal to a race anytime soon, go for the sloth. Who knew the Disney movie Zootopia had a scientific basis.

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