A Two-Toed Sloth. With David Attenborough recently naming in a 60-second interview that if he was to be an animal, he would be a sloth. Due to their slow pace, hanging in the trees, along with chomping on leaves. The Two-Toed Sloth you would think is closely related to the Three-Toed Sloth, in fact, they are completely the opposite. On the other hand, the Two-Toed Sloth, in fact, has three toes on its back feet and only two on the front. As they are normally perceived they are not, in fact, lazy just slow moving.
The Two-Toed Sloth can be found in Central and South America. Sloths are the only mammals where the hair will grow in the opposite directions opposed to other mammals. The reason for this adaptation is to allow rainwater to run off their body. The hair on the body will grow towards the back and the hair on the head will grow upwards as well. With them been arboreal creatures, they will spend most of their time up high in the trees, the only time they come down is to defecate which is only once per week.
The Two-Toed Sloth in the wild will typically live from 10-20 years, in captivity, this will be on average 15 years. In the wild the sloth with them been so high up within the tree tops.
They only face danger from Jaguars and Harpy Eagles. The Sloths will carry algae growing on their fur which will provide some camouflage. Sloths will move about 15 feet per minute if they feel threatened amongst the trees. As you can see from some of the photos the claws are very sharp and they will swipe this to deter any predators.
The Two-Toed Sloth is an omnivore with their diet ranging from plants and also small insects/ rodents. Mainly consuming plant matter and buds they have been known to eat small lizards and insects. The Sloth has many different compartments which mean it can take up to a month for the food to digest. The Sloth has a low requirement for food and water due to a very low metabolic rate (less than half of a creature there size).
Sloths will reproduce once per year. They have a fairly long gestation period which can range from 6 months to 12 months. Females when ready to breed will “scream” to attract males. Due to the slow movement, it could take up to a year for a female to actually come
across a male. If two males reach the female at the same time the males will fight very slowly might I add. The dominant male will then mate with the female and leave. The female, however, will give birth upside down requiring the baby to cling on since birth. It is not unheard of the baby falling. However, they are strong creatures and will survive the fall. The mothers will go slowly down to the bottom in order to retrieve the young.
Interesting fact you didn’t know before reading this
With the sloth’s curved claws, when a sloth dies it sometimes retains the grip on the branch.