Dark and light green leaves

Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth – Choloepus didactylus

Status: Least Concern

Habitat: Two-toed sloths inhabit the rainforests of northern South America. They spend their lives in the treetops, only rarely descending to the ground.

Adaptations: The sloth is a nocturnal, solitary, slow-moving animal that eats, sleeps, breeds and nurses its young while hanging upside down. The two-toed sloth has forelimbs that have two claws bound together with skin, while the hind limbs have three. These feet provide a safe, powerful grip on the branches where the sloth hangs for much of its life. Unable to move quickly, sloths rely on camouflage to protect themselves from eagles and other predators. But not moving, they attract little attention; sloths are so stationary that algae will even grow in their fur, helping them blend in among the leaves.

Diet: Sloths eat leaves, shoots and fruit.

Fun Fact: As slow as they are in the trees, sloths are helpless on the ground. On the rare occasions when they must travel on the ground, they cannot walk and must drag themselves on their bellies using their claws. They are, however, excellent swimmers. When the forest canopy is interrupted by a river or lake, sloths often paddle to new feeding grounds.