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Two Toed Sloth

Fact File

Class: Mammal
Order: Sloths & Anteaters
Family: Two-Toed Sloths
Found: South America
Size: 1.2m
Weight: 9kg

 

Diet: Herbivore (Plant Eater)
Gestation: 7-10 months

low_concern_gauge

Conservation Status: LC

Two Toed Sloth

Choloepus didactylus

Range: The Two toed sloth is found through  Venezuela, Colombia, the Guiana’s, Brazil  and  into the upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador and Peru.
Habitat: The Two toed sloth is found in tropical moist lowland and montane forest.
Threats: Habitat loss is the major threat to the sloth.  Two-toed sloths are well camouflaged in tree canopies. Their most common resting position is curled into a ball in the branches which resembles either a termite nest or a knot in the wood. This, combined with the green colour of their fur, makes for great protection from predators. They are not as commonly hunted as armadillos or tamanduas.  They are, however, increasingly caught for sale as pets to tourists in Colombia.
Social Behaviour: The two-toed sloth is nocturnal, sleeping during the daytime and eating at night, they move very slowly one limb at a time, at about 0.5 km per hour, but are capable of speeds up to 1.6 km per hour.
Information: Sloths spend most of their life hanging upside-down from tree branches, whether sleeping, eating, mating, or giving birth. They descend to the ground only to change trees (food source) or to defecate (pooh) and because of their low metabolic rate they defecate only once each week! Food remains in their relatively short digestive tract for approximately one month. Sloths have been known to defend themselves with their claws and teeth, but they are usually quite docile, relying primarily on camouflage to protect them. Although normally brown, often the fur has a greenish tinge caused by microscopic plants that live on the hairs. The under fur is dense, often matted, while the outer fur is finer and sleek.
The hair flows back from the head and as the animal is almost constantly upside down, the body hair lies from belly to back so that the rain will run off. A sloth’s temperature can vary by more than 10 degrees F, changing according to the surrounding temperature.
Sloths are actually much better at swimming than walking, using their strong fore feet to propel themselves through the water, although they spend almost all of their time in the trees. Swimming is an adaptation to the annual floods that occur in the forest. There are two claws on each fore foot and three on the hind feet. The fore claws measure up to 7.5 cm.
Modern sloths are divided into two families based on the number of toes on their front feet. Two-toed sloths are larger than their three-toed cousins. They also have longer hair, bigger eyes, and their back and front legs are more equal in length.  Two-toed As the name implies, they have only two toes on their forefeet, although, like other sloths, they have three toes on the hind feet. They are also larger than three-toed sloths, with a body length of 58-70 cms, and weighing 4-8 kg. Other distinguishing features include a more prominent snout, longer fur, and no tail.Modern sloths are divided into two families based on the number of toes on their front feet. Two-toed sloths are larger than their three-toed cousins. They also have longer hair, bigger eyes, and their back and front legs are more equal in length.  Two-toed As the name implies, they have only two toes on their forefeet, although, like other sloths, they have three toes on the hind feet. They are also larger than three-toed sloths, with a body length of 58-70 cms, and weighing 4-8 kg. Other distinguishing features include a more prominent snout, longer fur, and no tail.
Breeding: After a gestation period of 7-10 months., a single young is born and is carried on the mother’s body for 6-9 months, hooking itself securely into her fur. By about 1 month it begins to take leaves chewed by the mother and after a further month it can pick its own leaves from those it can reach. It reaches adult size between 2-3 years old.
Projects: ESB
Map: Red = Locations Found 835
two toed sloth colour
Conservation
How we are Protecting Wild Animals
Throughout most of tropical America large macaws have suffered major population declines as a result of habitat loss and poaching for the pet trade.

The Tambopata Macaw Project is a long term research project, which studies the behaviour, ecology and diet of wild parrots and macaws. The research includes monitoring of home range and habitat use, using GPS surveillance technology, and the study of breeding behaviour through the use of specially designed bird nest boxes with the inclusion of remote cameras.

The project also works to protect the forest – in particular the bird’s nesting and feeding sites. This is largely done by promoting ecotourism in the area – this boosts funds and awareness for the local wildlife as well as providing higher security from illegal logging and poaching.

The information our scientists have uncovered so far has been invaluable to the care and protection of these threatened species, both in this area and across the globe.

Safari Zoo Animals Protected by This Project

Other Wild Animals Protected by This Project