By Josie February 15th, 2023
Sloths, the equally adorable and lethargic animals living in treetops.
Have you also dreamt abut seeing these creatures in real life?
There are two main species of sloth, two-toed and three-toed sloths.
Two-toed sloths are slightly bigger and tend to spend more time hanging upside-down than their three-toed cousins, who will often sit upright in the fork of a tree branch.
Sloths are found throughout Central America and northern South America.
They live high in the trees of tropical rainforests, where they spend most of their time curled up or hanging upside down from branches.
Sloths munch on leaves, twigs and buds.
Because the animals don’t have incisors, they trim down leaves by smacking their firm lips together.
Sloths have an extremely low metabolic rate, which means they move at a languid, sluggish pace through the trees.
They creep at such a slow pace that algae grows on their fur.
Sloths may be slow climbers, but they are speedy swimmers.
They’re naturally buoyant and, like humans, sloths can do the breaststroke with ease.
Because sloths inhabit rainforests prone to seasonal flooding, the ability to swim is essential to their survival.
The baby sticks with the mother for about six months, grasping its mom’s belly as she moves through the trees.
Even after they stop dangling from their mother, little sloths stay by their mother’s side for two to four years, depending on their species.
The health of sloth populations is wholly dependent on the health of tropical rain forests, which frequently suffer deforestation.
The high prices that these animals command in cities or high-income countries have stimulated the illegal market for sloths in vulnerable communities.
Tortuguero National Park is perhaps the world’s most likely place to spot a sloth in the wild.
The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica is the original rescue center for injured, orphaned and abandoned sloths.