Created on Day 6
December 9, 2010
Both species of sloth have long forearms and strong hind limbs. These features are perfectly designed for climbing and living in trees. Much of the sloth’s fur is covered by a type of algae. This algae helps camouflage the animal while it is in the trees.
- Sloths vary in color from gray and tan to dark brown. They have long, shaggy fur that points to the ground when the sloth is hanging upside down. This allows rain water to be easily shed from their fur, keeping them dry. Some sloths even have thicker hair around the neck, which forms a mane.
- The hair of sloths grows in the opposite direction of most other mammals: from the stomach to the back.
- Sloths spend most of theirs lives hanging upside down in trees. They eat, sleep, and give birth while upside down.
- Sloths get their name from their extremely slow movements while on the ground and in trees.
Created Kind Members
Three-toed sloth, ground sloth
CLASS: Mammalia (mammal)
ORDER: Xenarthra (strange-jointed)
FAMILY: Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae (three-toed and two-toed)
GENUS/SPECIES: 5 different species within the two families—Bradypus and Choloepus
Size: Both genera about 1.6 ft (0.5 m)
Weight: Bradypus: 6.5–11 lbs (3–5 kg); Choloepus: 20 lbs (9 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Plants
Habitat: Forests of Central and South America