Northern part of South America
IUCN conservation status
These slowness disciples spend their lives hanging upside down.
Saving Energy Pays Off and Limits Food Consumption
Sloths spend most of their days resting and sleeping; in fact, they do this for 16 hours a day. Essentially folivores, they develop food preferences early on and stick to them. They drink very little, getting most of their water requirements from the plants they eat.
Special Adaptations to Life in Trees, Head Down
Their long limbs with curved claws allow them to hold on with a minimum of effort. They eat, sleep and even give birth to their offspring in this position. Their fur is streaked with small crevices that allow microscopic algae to cling to them, giving them a greenish colour.
A Solitary Way of Life Punctuated by Occasional Encounters
Since their best chance of survival is to stay out of sight from predators, sloths don't tend to group together and live a solo existence. To reproduce, the female in heat emits a call at night to attract males. If two rivals meet, there may be a quarrel, always with their heads upside down.
Widespread and Considered Abundant in the Wild
Difficult to reach in the forest canopy, discreet and rarely hunted, two-toed sloth populations seem to be doing well. However, deforestation for monoculture plantations, such as oil palms, is weakening certain communities and threatening sloths' long-term survival.