website
BACK TO SCHOOL | -30% on the PROMO selection (directly in your basket)
Le paresseux  description, habitat, alimentation et sa lenteur, une compétence de survie !

Paresseux -

The Sloth: Description, Habitat, Food and its Slowness, a Survival Skill!

of reading - words

Sloths are the stars 😎 of memes and viral videos. They make us laugh, and they make celebrities cry. But these social media darlings have been around much longer than the internet. Millions of years ago, giant ground sloths the size of elephants roamed the planet. Some were nearly 6 meters long from snout to tail, with massive claws for pulling tree branches to eat. Today, sloths are a little less intimidating than their ancestors.

It's a good thing that lazy people don't have to go to school 🎒. They would never arrive on time. Sloths sleep a lot, and even when awake they hardly move. In fact, they are so incredibly slow that algae grows on their fur . The plant gives it a greenish tint which serves as camouflage. But why are they so slow or where do the lazy people live? I'll explain everything to you, even what he eats for breakfast!

Sloth Plush

1) The Three-Toed Sloth in 10 Seconds TOP Chrono

  • COMMON NAME: Sloth
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Folivora
  • DIET: Herbivore đŸŒ±
  • HABITATS: Forest habitat, rainforest
  • BASIC GROUP OF ANIMALS: Mammal
  • AVERAGE LIFESPAN: 30 - 50 years
  • SIZE: 90cm
  • WEIGHT: 4kg
  • CONSERVATION STATUS: Not all sloths are endangered, but some species are threatened by the loss of their habitat

2) The Two- and Three-Toed Sloths!?

There are two main species of sloths, identified by the fact that they have two or three claws on their front legs. Both animal species are quite similar in appearance, with a round head, sad eyes, small ears and a short tail. Two-toed sloths are slightly larger and tend to spend more time hanging upside down đŸ€žâ€â™€ïž than their three-toed cousins, which often sit upright in the fork of a tree branch. Three-toed sloths have colorful faces that make them look like they're always smiling. They also have two extra cervical vertebrae that allow them to turn their heads almost all around!

Sloth Hanging from a Tree Upside Down

3) The Description of this Sloth Animal

The three-toed sloth emits a long, high-pitched cry 📱 that echoes through the forests in the form of "ahh-eeee" ( The Sloth's Cry ). Because of this call, these sloths are sometimes called ais.

Sloths also have an advantage few other land mammals have: They have extra neck vertebrae that allow them to turn their heads about 270 degrees 🎡 . With their long arms and shaggy fur, they look like monkeys, but are actually related to armadillos and anteaters. They can be 60 to 80 cm long and, depending on the species, weigh from 3.6 to 7.7 kg. Their brown coat allows them to camouflage themselves easily to protect themselves from predators.

Head-turning Sloth

They have long legs, stout tails and a rounded head with inconspicuous ears. Although they possess color vision, sloths' eyesight and hearing are not very sharp; orientation is mainly by touch 🖐. Its limbs are adapted to suspend its body rather than support it. Therefore, sloths are completely helpless on the ground unless they have something to grab. Even then, they are only able to drag themselves with their claws. Generally nocturnal, sloths are solitary and aggressive towards people of the same sex.

4) Sloth Habitat

Sloths are found throughout the rainforests of Central America and northern South America 🌎, including parts of Brazil and Peru. They live high in the trees of tropical rainforests , where they spend most of their time coiled or hanging upside down from branches. Sloths sleep, eat, mate and even give birth upside down!

Sloth in the Rainforest

5) Feeding this Slow Animal

At night, sloths eat leaves, twigs and buds ( a leafy, low-calorie diet ). Since these animals have no incisors, they cut leaves by slapping their firm lips. Also, they get almost all their water from juicy plants. They are herbivorous animals that love to consume vegetable plants.

Because their metabolism is very slow, sloths can survive on relatively little food; it takes them days to assimilate what other animals can digest in a few hours. Their metabolic rate of sloths is only about 40-45% of what would be typical for their body weight. Because of this specialized metabolism, sloths must be frugal with their energy consumption ⚡. Thus, they move slowly and tend not to stray far from their small home range.

Sloth Eating a Leaf

The exact rate of digestion in sloths remains unclear , but current estimates for the passage of food from ingestion to excretion range from a staggering 157 hours to 50 days⏳ (1,200 hours). It is therefore not surprising that the four-chambered stomach of the sloth is constantly full, and that more leaves can only be ingested as the digesta leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine. That's why he comes down from the trees only about once a week to relieve himself.

6) Moving Sloths

Although two-toed sloths (family Megalonychidae) are able to climb and position themselves vertically, they spend almost all of their time hanging horizontally , using their large hook-like extremities to move along branches and vines. . Three-toed sloths (family Bradypodidae) move similarly but often sit in tree forks rather than hanging from branches.

Sloth under Leaves in a Tree

Trees provide natural protection from predators such as jaguars and eagles 🩅 to sloths, however, they sometimes venture onto the ground to find more food, a mate and especially at intervals of about six days to urinate and defecate.

A- Life in the Trees

All sloths are built for life in the treetops 🌳. They spend most of their time high up, suspended from branches by a powerful grip aided by their long claws. (Dead sloths have been known to retain their grip and hang from a branch). Sloths even sleep in trees , and they sleep a lot (about 10 to 15 hours each day). Even when awake, they often remain motionless. Sloths mate and give birth by hanging from trees.

Sleeping Sloth Lying in a Tree

B- Life on Earth

On land, the weak hind legs of sloths provide them with no power, and their long claws are a hindrance. They must dig into the dirt with their front claws and use their strong front legs to drag themselves, dragging their bellies across the ground. If caught on land, these animals have no chance of escaping predators , such as big cats, and must try to defend themselves by scratching and biting.

C- Life in Water

Surprisingly, sloths are good swimmers ! They sometimes descend from their treetop perches and use their outstretched arms to propel themselves through the water. Although they couldn't be more clumsy on land, they are surprisingly agile in water 🏊. They sometimes fall directly from rainforest trees into rivers and move efficiently with their long arms.

AĂŻ qui Nage

7) Why is the Ai so slow?

Sloths have an extremely low metabolic rate, which means they move at a slow, languid pace through the trees. On average, sloths walk 40 meters a day , which is less than half the length of a football field!

Sloths are incredibly slow, but for one very simple reason: survival . The fact that slow sloths have been on this planet for almost 64 million years shows that they have a winning strategy 🏆.

Ancestor of the Sloth

Other scientists believe that sloths evolved their slow-motion lifestyle in order to be less visible to predators such as hawks and cats, who rely heavily on their eyesight when hunting. The algae that grows on sloths' fur also helps them avoid predators by letting them blend into the green leaves.

8) The Reproduction and Offspring of the Sloth

Sloths give birth to one baby đŸ‘¶ per year after a six-month gestation period. Newborn sloths latch onto the mother's abdomen and they travel by clinging to her as she moves through the trees for the first six months of life. This is an important period that allows the offspring to learn and develop.

Sloth with her Baby on her Back

When the sloth leaves its mother after about six months , it adopts part of its mother's range, continuing to communicate with the parent through calls đŸ—Łïž. Three-toed sloths are so difficult to keep in captivity that little is known about their breeding behavior and other aspects of their history.

9) Sloth Species

All sloths were once classified in the same family (Bradypodidae), but two-toed sloths ✌ turned out to be so different from three-toed sloths that they are now classified in a separate family (Megalonychidae).

Little Hanging Sloth

Within the two different types of sloths (two-toed and three - toed) there are six species :

  • Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)
  • Maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus)
  • Pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
  • Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
  • Linnaeus' two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
  • Hoffman's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)

Of these, the pygmy sloth is critically endangered ⚠ and the maned sloth is vulnerable.

Hoffman's Two-Toed Sloth

10) How the Sloth Works

Sloths have large, multi-chambered stomachs and are able to tolerate strong chemicals from the foliage they eat. Leafy foods are digested slowly ; a fermenting meal can take up to a week. The stomach is constantly full, its contents representing about 30% of the weight of the sloth.

Physiologically, sloths are heterotherms, that is , they do not control their body temperature perfectly . Normally between 25 and 35°C, the body temperature can go down to 20°C. At this temperature, the animals become torrid. Although heterothermy makes sloths very sensitive to temperature changes, they are thick-skinned and capable of withstanding severe injury.

Sloth in Water

11) The Sloth in A Few Questions

Do Sloths Have Predators?

Jaguars , eagles , big cats đŸ± are the most common predators of sloths.

Do Sloths Have a Tail?

There's not much to see, but three-toed sloths đŸ€Ÿ have short, stubby tails .

Sloth sticking out its tongue

Sloth's Teeth

The sloth's teeth đŸŠ· continually grow throughout its life . When they bite plants, their teeth wear down, which prevents them from overextending themselves.

How Long Do Sloths Sleep?

As their name suggests, sloths take a nap for about 15 hours a day đŸ’€ . That only leaves nine hours to fell the trees and they are mostly nocturnal, sleeping during the day and waking up at night to eat. They maintain a low body temperature and come and go in the shade to regulate their body temperature.

sleeping sloth

12) Can you Pet a Sloth?

You tell us :

Seriously, you're unlikely to come across a sloth in the wild (it rarely leaves its hiding place in the treetops). But if you do, like any wild animal 🩍, it's best to keep your distance.

Sloths usually rely on their camouflage 🌮 to protect themselves from predators. However, when threatened, they can use their 7-10 cm long claws and teeth to defend themselves. And despite their slow movements, sloths are surprisingly strong.

Person Who Picks Up a Baby Sloth

And there are other reasons not to snuggle up to a sloth. Each strand of a sloth's coarse fur has grooves that run from top to bottom where two types of blue-green algae grow. The green tint 🟱 of these algae helps sloths blend in with their green surroundings, but it also invites ticks, mites, beetles, moths and other critters to the party. This small ecosystem created by algae is so unique that some species of mammals, such as the wax moth, live exclusively on the fur of sloths!

13) Deforestation, a Threat to Sloths?

Sloths are an integral part of tropical rainforest ecosystems . Among the most common medium-sized large mammals in the rainforests of Central and South America is the brown-throated sloth.

The Threats of Sloths Deforestation

The health of sloth populations depends entirely on the health of tropical rainforests. Although not all sloths are endangered, some of the six wildlife species are threatened by habitat loss . Deforestation đŸȘ“ in the tropical forests of South America and Central America puts the trees at risk, which without their abundance, the sloths will lose their shelter and their source of food. When sloths go to the forest floor (which they do once a week to relieve themselves) they are more exposed to predators and can do little to repel them.

The most endangered species is the smallest sloth, called the pygmy three-toed sloth, which is only found on a small island off the coast of Panama where it is critically endangered 🚹 . Some species, such as the pygmy three-toed sloth, are considered vulnerable and endangered. Others, such as the southern two-toed sloth (also called Linne's two-toed sloth or Linnaeus) are designated as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are all protected but it is difficult to put an end to poaching.

Fight Against Deforestation - Green Peace

Through a program called ARPA for Life, WWF has helped the Brazilian government create a $215 million fund 💰 to ensure the proper management of 150 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon. Thus they hope to reduce the critical danger of extinction for endangered subspecies.

14) How to Help the Lazy?

Sloths live in rainforests, where habitat destruction is a serious threat . Supporting responsible resource use (like choosing Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee) can help protect them from habitat loss. They are also affected by wildlife trafficking. Sloths may be amazing and adorable but, like other exotic animals 🩁, they don't make great pets. Their diet, lifestyle and unique health needs require specialized care.

Pet Sloth

If you want to help sloths, you can donate to organizations that carry out special actions for the survival of several species including sloths, such as donating to WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature 🍃 ) .

15) The Sloth, an Arboreal Mammal

To conclude, the sloth (suborder Phyllophaga) is an arboreal mammal known for its slowness of movement. They are lovable and lethargic wild animals that live in the treetops and depend on the health and survival of the rainforests of Central and South America. They spend much of their lives in the canopy, napping 😮 and staying hidden from predators.

Sloth Upside Down

They reach a maximum size of about 75 cm and weigh between 3 and a maximum of 7 kg (about the size of a dog). They have brown, coarse fur, long legs and curved claws for clinging to tree branches, this is the adaptation to living upside down in the trees. And it's one of the slowest moving animals 🐌 on earth!

They lead a solitary life and travel from tree to tree using the canopy lianas, at a rate of around 40 meters per day đŸ‡đŸŒ nibbling on leaves, twigs and buds. Sloths have an exceptionally low metabolic rate and spend 10-15 hours a day sleeping. And, surprisingly, these long-armed animals are excellent swimmers . They sometimes drop from their treetop perches to paddle in the water.

Wet Sloth

Found in places like Brazil and Panama and all six species of this weird and wonderful animal need healthy forests đŸ‘©â€âš• to survive. But rainforests are among the most vulnerable to deforestation . Loss of trees means animals are forced to live on smaller land that cannot support healthy populations. WWF works with communities, governments, businesses and other partners to protect forests and the animals that depend on them.

16) Closing

In conclusion, sloths are fascinating mammals belonging to terrestrial fauna. Their most notable characteristic is their slow pace and arboreal lifestyle. Sloths are often recognized for their thick hair and dentition suited to their vegetation-based diet. Unfortunately, many sloth species are threatened due to global warming and habitat destruction. It is crucial to preserve these animals, because they play an essential role in the balance of ecosystems. The conservation of biodiversity and the protection of sloths are major issues in preserving our living planet .

If you love sloths, I'm sure you or your child will love 😉 the Peluche Kingdom sloth stuffed animals . So don't hesitate and check out our plush toys (click on the image or the button below, it costs you nothing!).

The Best Sloth Stuffed Animals


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published