The sloth is a mysterious and adorable little creature. Few can watch the sloth in action and not fall in love. The sloth is a solitary animal and they seem to be very happy in their trees, alone. They only “find” each other to mate and since they stay so to themselves it may take them more than a year to find a mating partner.
A sloth does just about everything while hanging from a tree branch. They feed, walk, mate and give birth while hanging from a tree branch. They have very equipped bodies for the purpose. Their necks are made to be able to see well and turnabout while hanging upside down. Their feet and hands have very long claws designed to make holding on easy and secure. Sloths are normally classified as a “Three-toed” or a “Two-toed” sloths. However, they all have three-toe. One class of sloth has two fingers and three toes while the other has three and three. The three-toed sloth also has three extra vertebras in their necks so they have a wider range of neck movement. The grip of a sloth is so strong, that even when it dies, it can often be found still holding on to their branches.
The sloth is just really cute. He has pretty little eyes and a very innocent face and makes a squeaking noise that just melts your heart. But this was not always the case. The ancestor of the sloth weighed over seven tons and was over 22 feet tall. This relative was called Megatherium. Even though the Megatherium was not a “meat-eater” it is doubtful that he had many threats.
Both the male and the female sloth have similar markings and are of similar size. They are so similar that even experts have trouble telling them apart. Many zoos have purchased sloths to mate; only to discover later that they were of the same sex.
Sloths main diet is leaves, buds, tender plants and shoots. However, some Two-Toed Sloths have been observed supplementing their diets with insects.
A sloth moves so slowly and gracefully that he easily blends in his natural habitat. Because of this, he has few enemies. He will use his claws to defend himself if cornered. He rarely needs to.
A sloth only takes a “potty break” about once per week. He goes to the ground, digs a hole in which to relieve himself and then covers his waste. No one really knows why a sloth does this, as it is the most vulnerable a sloth will be to predators. Some experts believe that the sloth wants to avoid drawing attention to its home with the noise. But no one is sure.
The sloth is both unique and mysterious.