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 a
Sloths live in the rainforests of Central and South America. Two species of sloth live there today: the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth.
Sloths eat leaves, shoots and fruits from trees and get most of their water from juicy plants. They are called folivores, since their diet consists of buds, tender shoots and leaves of the Cecropia tree. Some two-toed sloths eat insects, small reptiles and birds.
Sloths have specific calls for when they are looking for a mate. They also have a general, high-pitched call that sounds like "ahh-eee" and gives the three-toed sloth one of its common names: the ai.
Unlike some animals, baby sloths do not have a special name and are simply called baby sloths. Sloths give birth to their young in the forest canopy. A female screams to signal the male that she is ready to mate.
According to "National Geographic" magazine, the natural habitat of the three-toed sloth is the rainforests of Central and South America. Their range extends from southern Mexico to central Brazil, though they are most heavily concentrated along the Atlantic coast in Venezuela, Guiana, Suriname and
The main predators of sloths are jaguars, large birds of prey and snakes. The sloth's long claws, which are more often used for climbing trees and hanging from branches, are its only defense against predators in the wild. Sloths are most vulnerable during their infrequent trips down from the trees t
According to a 2012 study by the Zoological Society of London, there are likely fewer than 100 pygmy three-toed sloths remaining in the wild. The population census was conducted during a nine-day expedition to Escudo Island, the only place in the world the species is found.
A 2008 study shows that sloths in the wild sleep for about nine hours, while sloths in captivity appear to sleep for 15 to 20 hours per day. The study monitored three-toed sloths, so the sleeping patterns of the larger two-toed sloth remain unverified as of 2014.
Three-toed sloths eat leaves, shoots and fruit from the trees they live in, and in some cases will also eat small rodents or insects. Their diet lacks nutrition, and they get very little energy from it. It's speculated that sloths move so slowly for this reason. Three-toed sloths digest their food w