The Linnaeus's two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), like all sloth are not lazy, just slow. Instead of foraging all day long to get enough energy from the leaves it eats, the sloth conserves energy by being inactive. This requires few heavy muscles, making the sloth light enough to climb high on thin branches where it can feed without worrying about jaguars. Still vulnerable to eagles, the sloth relies on camouflage for protection. Algae grow on its hair, giving the sloth a green tint that helps it blend in with the trees. Holding still, it is nearly invisible to predators. The sloth spends most of its time hanging upside down by its four-inch long, curved claws. It sleeps, eats, mates, and even gives birth in this position. While most mammals’ hair grows from its back to its belly, the sloth’s fur grows from its belly to its back so that rain runs right off of a hanging sloth.
- Where to see them: Northern South America
- Length: 1.9 to 2.3 ft
- Weight: 8.8 to 17.6 lbs
- Lifespan: More than 30 yrs in captivity
- Habitat: Tropical forest
- Diet: Leaves and fruits