Southern two-toed sloth

Southern two-toed sloth

Choloepus didactylus

Brazil

1899.166.c

Unlike most mammals, sloths can’t control their body temperature very well. They can’t move around fast to keep warm and they don’t have the muscles to shiver.

Their thick fur keeps them warm and is home to moths, beetles, mites and algae. The algae makes their fur green, which helps camouflage them in the trees from hungry jaguars, anacondas and hawks. 

Where and how they live: Sloths sleep, eat, mate and even give birth high in the rainforest tree tops. They only climb down to the forest floor about once a week to poo.

What they eat: leaves, small twigs and fruit

Are they endangered? Sloths are not currently endangered but they are very hard to keep alive in captivity but are often captured, sold and die as pets. As the rainforests become more developed more and more are victims of road kill.

Linked objects:

Pale-throated sloth

Pair of bark armlets

More two-toed sloth images, sound and video: