Areas east of the Andes in Columbia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru and northern Brazil
Tropical forest tree canopies
Leaves, shoots, fruits
12 - 20 lbs.
24 - 30 in.
5 - 6 months
Has two long claws on the front feet, and three on the hind feet
Sloths are arboreal (tree-dwellers). They spend almost their entire lives hanging upside down in trees. They eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth in an upside down position.
They may sleep as many as 20 hours a day.
They are hard to spot high in the tree canopies. Their specialized hair encourages algae growth, which aids in camouflaging them.
They are physically unable to walk. They have to crawl from one spot to the other when they decend to the ground.
Because of their slow metabolism, it is necessary for sloths to defecate and urinate only once a week.
There are currently no major threats. Since they are usually found high in the canopy, motionless and virtually invisible, they are not as commonly hunted as armadillos or tamanduas. There are also taboos against their consumption by some native groups.
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