What Are Some Facts About Sloths?


Quick Answer

Sloths sleep for up to 20 hours per day. When they are awake, they move so slowly that algae grows on their fur. According to National Geographic, some scientists believe that the slow movements and algae camouflage make the sloths less vulnerable to predators that rely on vision for hunting, such as hawks or cats.

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What Are Some Facts About Sloths?
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Full Answer

Sloths resemble monkeys, but they are related to armadillos and anteaters. They live in tropical forests throughout Central and South America.

The two main species of sloth are the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth. Both types of sloths look similar, but two-toed sloths are usually slightly larger. Three-toed sloths often sit upright in a tree, whereas the two-toed sloth often hangs upside-down. Three-toed sloths usually look like they are smiling, due to the coloring on their faces.

It can take up to a full month for a sloth to digest a meal. Their stomachs have four sections, which use bacteria to digest leaves. Another reason why sloths may be so slow is because their diet of leaves does not provide adequate nutrition or energy, according to LiveScience.

Sloths have long claws, between 3 and 4 inches long, which is why they prefer hanging in trees rather than walking on the ground. When they do travel on the ground, they use their claws to slowly drag their bodies.

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