Fun Facts About Sloths
I think that after you read about these fun facts about sloths, you will either love them or at least appreciate them if you didn’t already. Personally, it makes me want to own one, but that’s just me. But first, watch this video. It’s only a couple of minutes long, and it lets you listen to the cutest little squeaky noises they make! That’s all. Then I’ll fill you in on some fun facts about sloths.
Fun Facts About Sloths
- The sloth is the world’s slowest mammal. Sloths rarely move at all, spending much of its day hanging upside-down from tree limbs. It is so lethargic that its fur is often hosting small moths, beetles, and even algae. The algae give the sloth’s brown, white or black fur a greenish tinge, camouflaging it against predators in the rain forest trees of its Central and South American home.
- Sloths are identified by the number of long, prominent claws that they have on each front foot and can climb only 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) per minute. They grasp tree limbs with their sharp claws, which can be 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) long. There are four species of these animals, two of the most recognizable are the two-toed and three-toed sloths.
- Sloths have very little muscle mass but are able to grasp onto trees firmly with their claws. Sloths spend nearly all of their time in the trees, hanging from branches with a powerful grip aided by their long claws. Sloths have even been known to remain clinging to a tree branch after death.
- Sloths even sleep in trees, as much as 15 to 20 hours every day. Even when awake they often remain motionless. At night they eat leaves, shoots, and fruit from the trees and get almost all of their water from juicy plants.
- The sloth’s main source of nutrition is leaves, twigs, and fruit. This diet leaves a sloth with very little energy to move around, low metabolism, and low body temperature. Sloths have a four-part stomach that slowly digests the tough leaves they eat. It can sometimes take up to a month for a sloth to digest a meal.
- Sloths mate and give birth while hanging in the trees. Three-toed sloth babies are often seen clinging to their mothers—they travel by hanging on to them for the first nine months of their lives.
- Sloths mainly leave their tree to urinate or defecate about once a week. Because the sloths’ weak hind legs provide no power and their long claws are a hindrance, leaving the tree makes them vulnerable to predators like the eagle or jaguar. Their only means of defense is by clawing and biting.
- To propel themselves while on the ground, they must dig into the earth with their front claws and use their strong front legs to pull themselves along, dragging their bellies across the ground.
- Sloths are excellent swimmers. They sometimes will drop from a tree limb into the water and use their long arms to swim with broad strokes.
- The three-toed sloth emits a long, high-pitched call that echoes through the forests as “ahh-eeee.” Because of this cry, these sloths are sometimes called ais (pronounced “eyes”).
- Three-toed sloths also have an advantage that few other mammals possess: They have extra neck vertebrae that allows them to turn their heads some 270 degrees.
- Thousands of years ago, very large sloths lived on the ground in North America. Their fossils tell us some were as large as elephants, had claws and ate leaves much like present-day sloths.
ABOUT THE VIDEO: Published on Apr 9, 2014
The squeaky sloths are the latest viral from ‘the Spielberg of sloth movies’, Lucy Cooke. For more of Lucy’s award-winning sloth TV shows, photos and best-selling books (THE POWER OF SLOTH (UK title)/ A LITTLE BOOK OF SLOTH (US)) visit www.slothville.com, HQ of The Sloth Appreciation Society & home to the cutest and funniest sloth stuff around.
According to the article originally linking this video, the reason they’re squeaking is somewhat sad. “Adult sloths don’t vocalize a whole lot unless they are threatened or in distress, but baby sloths are a different story. When these infants are separated from their mothers, they cry out in squeaky bleats hoping that she’ll return quickly. Though the reason these youngsters are crying is incredibly sad, they can be calmed down when reunited with their favorite stuffed animal.”
Music by Mat Davidson www.matdavidson.co.uk
OTHER FUN FACTS ABOUT SLOTHS SOURCES:
I hope you have enjoyed, “Sloths: Fun Facts About Sloths That Will Make Fall in Love with Them“
You might also like: Sloths Being Cute, They Just Can’t Help Themselves
QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY: What do you think about sloths? Did you know anything about them before reading this article? Do you love them? I sure do!
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