Scientific Name: choloepus didactylus
Habitat: tropical forests
Diet: leaves and fruits
Life Span: 12 – 15 years (30 years in captivity)
Size: up to 9 kg
The Toe-toed Sloth is found in the tropical forest canopies of Central America and northern South America, including portions of Brazil and Peru. It is almost strictly arboreal, staying high in the canopy of the tropical rain forests, coming down only to switch trees and to defecate.
The Two-toed Sloth is about the size of a small dog. It has a relatively short neck and four long, equal lengthed limbs that end in two curved claws, giving it its name. It has a snub nose, small ears, and large eyes.
It is covered with long grey hair, each strand of which has grooves. In the warm moist, rainforest, these grooves collect algae, giving its fur a blue-green tint, which allows it to blend in with the leaves. Their peculiar way of hanging underneath a branch makes them look like a part of the tree.
The Two-toed Sloth is one of the slowest moving animals on the planet, moving at speeds of only 0.8 km/h. This slow movement is harder for a predator to see than quick motions. It’s painstakingly slow pace, combined with its green-tinged coat makes for great camouflage.
Sloths are solitary creatures. Females give birth to one offspring a year. For the first five weeks, the young cling to their mother’s belly until they have the strength to move on their own.
The Two-toed Sloth is primarily nocturnal, sleeping for up to 15 hours during the day. Sloths are excellent swimmers.
For more information about the Two-toes Sloth visit Animal Diversity Web, or visit the Edmonton Valley Zoo!