Two-toed sloths (choloepus spp.) fact sheet

S cientific Name Choloepus hoffmanni. Algae growing on their fur can make them appear green. This provides good camouflage. This coat is formed of a long coarse outer coat and dense smooth undercoat that helps provide insulation. These sloths have two fingers with sharp claws on each foot that allow them to latch onto tree branches. These claws can be up to 6. Their forelimbs are longer than their hind limbs.

Only three mammals do not have seven cervical vertebrae.

two-toed sloths (choloepus spp.) fact sheet

Their vertebrae vary between five and eight which allows their head to turn degrees in either direction. The head and body measure cm in.

A stubby tail is present which is just 1. They weigh between 2. In the wild they live for between 10 and 15 years. In captivity they can normally live for about 30 years but one at Adelaide Zoo in South Australia is still alive at 41 years old. Most of their diet is tree leaves with the occasional fruit or flower also eaten. On very rare occasions they may eat an insect.

They have a four chambered stomach like a cow. Inside these stomachs are bacteria which break down the plant matter which they ingest. It may take a month for one meal to be digested. Lowland, cloud and rain forests are where you will find this species. Here they move to the crowns of trees with lianas which cover them from predators.

They like trees where there crowns interlace allowing movement without needing to move to the ground. Mating can occur at any time throughout the year but an increase is seen around March and April. They will then come to meet her. If more than one arrives they fight while hanging by their rear legs.

The female intiates mating with the winner of the fight by licking his face. Ten months after a successful mating a single infant is born while the mother hangs upside down. The infant needs to climb onto her chest to nurse for the first time.

It will hang upside down on its own for the first days. A month after birth they stop drinking milk and begin feeding on leaves.All rights reserved. Order: Pilosa — group of placental mammals found in the Americas, including anteaters and sloths, and extinct ground sloths. Pelage C.

Tinted green in the wet season due to algal growth. Habitat Tropical and cloud forests with tree crowns connected for tree-to-tree movement. Population trends unknown. Locomotion Slow, deliberate movement. Agile in trees; move by hooking claws onto branches. Can move on the ground, but can only drag themselves with claws and forelimbs for short distances.

two-toed sloths (choloepus spp.) fact sheet

Excellent swimmers. Activity Cycle Nocturnal; activity begins about one hour following sunset and ceases about two hours before dawn. Social Groups Adults typically solitary, unless with mates or young.

Females may feed in same tree. Diet Mainly plants—leaves, twigs, buds, fruit. Occassionally small mammals rodents and insects.

Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus spp.) Fact Sheet: Bibliography & Resources

Sexual Maturity Females: approximately 3 years of age Males: approximately years of age. Age at Independence months, but may remain with mother up to 2 years; weaned at about one month.

Longevity In the wild: years old In managed care: over 30 years old. Minor updates How to cite: Two-toed Sloths Choloepus spp. Fact Sheet. Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings.

Questions and comments may be addressed to library sandiegozoo. Two-toed Sloths Choloepus spp. Contact Us Email the librarians at library sandiegozoo.Aiello, A. Anderson, R. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington Aguilar, J. Conservation status of the Xenarthra In Vizcaino, S.

two-toed sloths (choloepus spp.) fact sheet

F and Loughry, W. Gainesville : University Press of Florida pp Barros, M. Genetics and Molecular biology. Britton, S. Vol 16 1 and Vol 16 2 Chiarello A, Plese T. Version TA [species assessed Oct 06; page accessed Feb 26]. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 95 6 Delsuc, F. De Stefani Munao Diniz, L. Clinical problems of sloths Bradypus sp and Choloepus sp in captivity. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 30 1 : 76 - Thesis, State Univ. Clinical problems of sloths Bradypus sp. J Zoo Wildl Med. Mar;30 1 In Montgomery, G.

Emmons, L. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A field guide Chicago: University of Chicago Press pp. Gardner, A. Order Pilosa. In: D. Reeder eds Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference.

Third Edition. Vizcaino, S. The Biology of the Xenarthra. Gainesville : University Press of Florida. Pp The hair of Linne's two toed sloth is coarse and grooved. The grooves are filled with greenish algae, which helps conceal the animal in its forest home. Males and females are alike in appearance. Sloths have no canine teeth, but their first premolars have a sharp fang-like cusp that gives the appearance of canine teeth and enable the animal to inflict a serious wound.

They are about 2 feet long and weigh pounds. They have a very flexible neck that enables them to reach all around themselves without moving.

What Kind of Trees Do Sloths Live in?

Sloths are the most spectacularly successful large mammals in Central and South America. In many places they account for one fourth to two-thirds of the total mammalian biomass and half of the energy consumption of all terrestrial mammals. This success is largely because the effects of competitors and predators are scarcely perceptible. They eat what very few other mammals want, and most predators do not detect them.

Linne's two toed sloths spend most of their lives upside down, moving very slowly through the trees. The most important sense for sloths is smell. They spend hours of every 24 in sleep. The rest of the time they are grinding up leaves and fruit and slowly digesting their meal it may take up to a month in a large compartmentalized stomach containing cellulose-digesting bacteria.

They descend about once a week to defecate. They usually urinate only when rain can mask their urine stream. In coupling, both animals hang from a branch by their forelimbs, face to face.

The breeding season is March and April. One young Linne's two toed sloth is born about every months. They mature in 3. Note: Photos and resources on this site may be historical in nature and are intended for educational purposes only. Some of the items included in this list are historical, and may not currently be found at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Tags Mammals Rainforest Herbivores. All rights reserved.A sloth's body consists of a short neck with four long limbs of equal length, ending in two 3 to 4 inch 8 to 10 centimeter long curved claws.

Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus spp.) Fact Sheet: Summary

The head is short and flat, with a snub nose, rudimentary ears, and large eyes. Sloths are a walking ecosystem. They possess a short, fine undercoat, and an overcoat of longer, coarser hairs, which turn green in moist conditions due to algae growth. Each strand of brownish-gray hair has grooves running from top to bottom, where two species of blue-green algae grow.

This greenish tint camouflages them in the forest canopy. Their fur also harbors moths, ticks and beetles. Their hair curves from stomach toward their back; this is opposite from most mammals. Sloths maintain a low, but variable body temperature that ranges from 86 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit 30 to 34 Cwhich falls during cooler hours of the night, in wet weather, and whenever the animals are inactive.

This helps them conserve energy. Sloths have a metabolic rate that is only 40 to 45 percent of what would be expected for their body weight. They have reduced muscles, about half the relative weight of most terrestrial mammals, so they cannot afford to keep warm by shivering. They also regulate their body temperatures by moving in and out of the sun. Ranging in length from 21 to 29 inches 53 to 74 centimeters and weighing 9 to 17 pounds 4 to 8 kilogramsthis sloth is roughly the size and shape of a small dog.

Sloths are strictly arboreal, staying high in the canopy of the tropical rain forests and maintaining a range of about 10 acres. Sloths are usually docile, relying on their camouflage to protect them from predators. However when threatened, they can use their claws and teeth to defend themselves.

Mostly silent, two-toed sloths can make hisses or low moaning cries if they are distressed. Sloths have been reported to survive dramatic injuries.

Wounds, even deep bites, rarely become infected and seem to heal entirely in less than a month. Sloths' teeth grow continuously, and have to be worn down by plant material to keep them from getting too long.

To compensate for a lack of sharp teeth, they have hardened lips that shear and crop leaves. Though mostly herbivorous, they may occasionally snack on a larval insect or other passive, protein-packed snack like a bird egg. They get water from their food and by lapping dew off leaves and fruits.

Food remains in their relatively short digestive tract for approximately one month. They have a low metabolic rate and feces and urine are only passed once a week at habitual sites at the base of trees. They are relatively solitary mammals, although occasionally groups of females sometimes occupy the same tree. Young sloths may also inherit the home range of their parents.

Females are sexually mature when they are 3 years old. After that, they breed once each year. Males mature between 4 and 5 years old.

Southern two-toed sloth

After a gestation period of six months, they give birth small, well developed babies; 10 inches 25 centimeters long and weighing 12 ounces grams.

Babies cling to their mother's belly for five weeks, until they are strong enough to move on their own. Mothers spend a lot of time and energy feeding and caring for them, both before and after the young are weaned. Sloths are primarily nocturnal, sleeping for 15 hours during the day and waking up at night to eat.

Sloths move slowly and deliberately. They spend most of their life hanging upside-down from tree branches, whether sleeping, eating, mating or giving birth. They descend to the ground only to change trees and locate new food sources, or to defecate.

Because of specializing and slowing their metabolisms, sloths use energy frugally and generally move slowly over small home ranges.Animals of the rain forests are provided with a variety of habitats in the different layers of the forest trees. Some live at the top of the tallest trees while others live in the lower zones. There are two species of two-toed sloth in S.

America - Hoffman's or Unau found in the forested regions of northern S. Sloths are slow-moving, tree-dwelling animals that spend almost the whole of their lives hanging upside down from the branches of trees where the growth of algae on their hair provides the excellent greenish camouflage that makes them so difficult to spot.

When they are on the ground - perhaps due to a branch breaking - sloths can only move with difficulty. They eat leaves and fruit. In addition to the two-toed sloths there are three species of three-toed sloth found in the rain forests of South America. Rainforest Animals. Two-Toed Sloth. In addition to the two-toed sloths there are three species of three-toed sloth found in the rain forests of South America Read More: Gorilla. Rainforests Factsheet. Rainforest Tribes Factsheet.

Gorilla Factsheet. Cats South American Factsheet. Shrew Common Factsheet. Shrew Water Factsheet. Orangutan Factsheet. Palm Oil Factsheet. Tapirs Factsheet. Rainforests Lesson Plan.Sloths are classed as herbivores. In the wild, they live in the rainforest so have access to a wide range of trees and plant species. At Folly Farm, our sloths eat a lot of vegetables and are particularly fond of asparagus and baby corn! Do sloths have any predators? They do.

They include anacondas, harpy eagles, ocelots and jaguars. Can I adopt a sloth? Folly Farm offers sloth adoption — the perfect gift for any lover of sloths.

Why are sloths still for so long? They try to save what little energy they have. And by sleeping up to 15 hours a day! Why are sloths so slow? How much does it cost to adopt a sloth? Although listed as least concern there is a decrease in numbers in the wild. This is mainly down the destruction of their natural habitat. Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.

Two-toed sloth These slow moving, peaceful creatures can be found in the forests of South America. Zoo animals.

Two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) ascending a tree

Conservation Although listed as least concern there is a decrease in numbers in the wild. Facts about two toed sloths.

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