What Are Some Adaptations of Sloths?

According to Conserve Nature, some of the adaptations of the sloth are long arms, curved feet, curved claws and a slow metabolism. These adaptations help the sloth to not only survive, but thrive in its habitat.

One impressive adaptation of the sloth is the algae that it grows in its fur. This serves as camouflage and allows it to blend into its surroundings, which are trees. Its long arms, curved feet and curved claws are also adapted to arboreal living. The long arms are an important component in its impressive swimming ability, which it uses when the rain forest floods. The curved feet and claws are characteristics that allow the sloth to grasp and hold on to branches, supporting it as it hangs upside down. Almost every component of the sloth’s life depends on its ability to hang upside down on branches. It mates, sleeps, eats and gives birth in this position. In fact, the sloth has extra bones in its vertebrae that allow it to turn its head in nearly a full circle.

A sloth’s slow metabolism is also an adaptive trait. It needs this slow metabolism because it eats only leaves, which does not give it much energy. Because there is so much indigestible cellulose in leaves, the sloth has a special stomach with several chambers to help in the digestion process.