9 Mindblowing facts about sloth

9 Mindblowing facts about sloth

Sloths are medium-sized mammals belonging to the Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae families which are classified into six species. This animal is part of the Pilosa order so that it has something to do with ant-eaters who have similar claws. Sloth are one of the slowest animal on earth, let's find out more about sloths.

What does sloth eat?

Especially for the three-toed sloth, they only eat leaves, young shoots, and fine twigs. Meanwhile, two-toed sloths eat many types of food, such as leaves, twigs, fruit, insects to small mice.

Where does sloth live?

Sloths are arboreal (tree-dwelling) animals that inhabit the jungles of Central and South America.

Why sloths slow?

This is due to their low metabolic rate which prevents them from doing many things most of the day. The tropical forest environment which is hot and humid enough makes the sloth body unnecessary to create heat energy from the body to maintain muscles and organs also they get that heat energy from sunbathing in the sun

The slow-motion of the sloth is also because the sloth is an arboreal animal. As previously explained, arboreal animals are animals that spend most of their time in trees. Because they live in trees, they do not need to move quickly to avoid predators.

Are sloth endangered?

Sadly, the sloth population continues to decline every year. Sloths are in the endangered category and to increase the sloth population, efforts were made to replant deforested forests. The World Wildlife Fund also created a program called ARPA for Life and provided the US $ 215 million in funds to Brazil to protect 150 million hectares of forest. 

Facts about sloth

Fact 1 - Sloths live in dangerous habitats

Life certainly won't be easy if there is an animal that lives in nature but never moves more than 40 meters per day. But unfortunately, that is the daily life of the sloth.

In this way, sloths become easy food for predators. Sloths, which often live in tall trees, can still be eaten as soft food for pumas or panthers. The reason is, the breed will try its best to climb the tree. Even though it takes a long time, over time the slower sloths will be caught too.

Although the sloths are in a place where the panthers cannot reach, it turns out that eagles are also 'hooked' to prey on sloths. Not only wild animals but sometimes owls also prey on sloths. This is because the sloth can do nothing. After all, the muscle mass of the sloth is very low and this is why nature is a dangerous place for them.

Fact 2 - Sloth laziness is a coping mechanism

According to scientists, sloths do a pretty brilliant way of defending from predators, namely moving very slowly. In this case, the predator will not predict which direction the sloth is moving. This can be used by Sloths to camouflage between trees.

This is very useful especially for predators who are large and moving quickly. Sloths only have to save themselves when the predator thinks there is nothing around them.

Fact 3 - Sloths are capable of camouflage

Unlike other mammals, sloths can camouflage in unique ways. He camouflages himself by smearing his body with moss which eventually mixes color with his fur. Moss can flourish in warm, moist sloth feathers.

This is a mutualism symbiotic practice, you know. Due to the long, tangled, and irregular hair of the sloth, bacteria, and fungi can thrive. In contrast, the sloths end up having green fur, making them quite difficult for predators to detect.

A newborn sloth will soon be covered with moss by the mother so that the baby remains safe from predators.

Fact 4 - The activity of defecating from a sloth is unique

Of course, defecating animals is not an interesting topic. But for the sloth, defecating is a matter of life and death.

For defecating, the sloth will come down from the tree once a week. Why should you come down? Because the dung from the sloth is an exclusive place for moths to lay their eggs. By always being close to moths, sloths can live. Because the moth will throw dirt on the sloth's hair which is overgrown with moss, which makes the moss more fertile. Sloths, which don't move much, use the moss on their bodies as food as well as a means of camouflage.

Fact 5 - Because he is so skilled at climbing, sloths can die while climbing

Sloths are often hunted by humans. This occurs in the Amazon jungle in South America. However, it will be difficult for us to hunt sloths if we are not on land. Why? Because sloths spend their time in the trees.
Its very low muscle mass puts it at great risk if it is on land. This makes sloths quite adept at climbing, even though they are very slow. Besides, the sloth's fingers, equipped with 3 long nails, will hook the Sloth on the tree branches.
This is what makes sloths difficult to hunt when climbing. Because even though it has been killed, the sloth will still hang around without falling because the 'hook nails' make it hang even though it's not moving forever. 

Fact 6 - Sloths can swim

Surprisingly, sloths are good swimming mammals, even though they spend their lives in trees. Its stomach is wide enough to help the sloth to swim easily. Making sloth stomachs is a natural 'rubber boat'. Uniquely, in one breaststroke, sloths swim much faster than moving in trees or on land.
Sloths need to swim because their habitat is tropical forests, with quite a lot of wet areas. With the ability to move slowly, of course, many forest areas cannot be passed if he has to move from branch to branch or on land.

Sloths will find it easier to swim in fast-flowing rivers, which allow them to easily move from one place to another without having to move a lot. Remarkably, based on an unscientific study that tested the resistance of sloths in water (this research is illegal to do with wild animals), sloths can survive 40 minutes in water without breathing. The lazy behavior of the sloth does not need a lot of oxygen to be absorbed.

Fact 7 - Sloth sleeps 15 hours a day

Their average sleep time is 15 hours a day and even the brown throat sloth (Bradypus variegatus) can sleep up to 18 hours a day! The rest of the time they have to eat, climb and hang on trees. Because sloths are nocturnal, they sleep during the day. Meanwhile, at night they will be active. They can sleep hanging from a tree or sleeping on a large tree branch.

Fact 8 - Giving birth to the child in an upside-down position

Sloth marriage rituals are not strange. Usually, the female sloth will scream for the male to start mating.
It takes a long time for the male to walk up to the female. After the two of them are close together, the mating process will be very short, in just seconds.
Then, female sloths will become pregnant within 6-10 months. The length of the gestation period varies from species to species. When it is time to give birth, the sloth will give birth to the child in reverse. When born, a baby sloth weighs 11.2 ounces (317 grams). This baby will remain with the mother until the age of 6 months.

Fact 9 - The female sloth is a very loving mother to her child

Sloth took 6 months to conceive a child. They give birth once a year and look after the young for the first 6 months of their life. Sloths hold their children in their arms, that's how they love each other and forge a close relationship between mother and child.