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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

The Two-Toed Sloth: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Two-toed sloth facts are engaging to know more about animals

Would you like to get some insights into one of the slowest animals? Most of us are already aware of sloths. We have seen countless memes about the animals because of their slow nature. Nevertheless, they are quite interesting because of their unique approach to life. The two-toed sloths are a species that is mainly found in Central and South America. These slow animals spend their life hanging upside down from trees. The distinct feature of these species is the presence of two claws in their front paws. These slow mammals like to inhabit hot and humid rainforests and cloud forests. Moreover, they have the ability to control their variable body temperature, which helps them to slow their metabolism rate. The brown hair-like fur of this animal makes them look beautiful. The young cubs learn to hang upside down from trees at just 25 days from birth. Want to know more interesting two-toed sloth facts for kids? Keep on reading to know more.

Also, check out the articles on foxes and Fennec foxes to know more about intriguing animals.

Two-Toed Sloth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Two-Toed Sloth?

Two-toed sloths are a form of xenarthran mammals. They are the only mammals that live upside down throughout their life.

What class of animal does a Two-Toed Sloth belong to?

Two-toed sloths belong from the class Mammalia, order Pilosa, and the family Choloepodidae.

How many Two-Toed Sloths are there in the world?

The exact number of two-toed sloths isn't available as they are abundantly found in the rainforests of Central and South America.

Where does a Two-Toed Sloth live?

Two-toed sloths are found in the rainforests and cloud forests of Central and South America.

What is a Two-Toed Sloth's habitat?

The two-toed sloths spend life up in the trees, and they always hang upside down. At some point in time, there might have lived ground-dwelling sloths, but they have now evolved to live in the trees. The two-toed sloths have claws measuring 4 in (8cm to 10 cm) that help them in hanging upside down. These sloths can also swim, but they seldom do. The two-toed sloth can sleep for up to 15 hours a day. So, they prefer to find a comfortable tree and ball up into a nice sleeping position.

Who do Two-Toed Sloths live with?

Two-toed sloths are basically solitary animals who live alone most of their lives. The Sloths only come together during the mating season.

How long does a Two-Toed Sloth live?

The average lifespan for a two-toed sloth is about 15 years. With their level of energy and rate of sleeping, most of their life expectancy is spent on getting a comfortable sleep.

How do they reproduce?

One of the interesting Hoffmann's two-toed sloth facts is that these animals mate upside down on the trees. During the mating season, the female gives out a screaming night cry to bring in the males. Even though these sloths are extremely slow animals, the males will participate in fighting if more than one approaches the territory of the female. Once the mating is done, the male goes out of the scene. The female two-toed sloth goes through a gestational period that can last for seven - 10 months, and they give birth to one baby sloth. The two-toed sloth gives birth while hanging upside down from the tree. The baby has to cling to the hair-like fur of their mother to survive in the forest. A baby sloth will take 15-25 days from birth to begin hanging in its iconic upside-down position. The baby sloths may live with their mother for anywhere around six months to two years. Sloths can reach sexual maturity between the ages of two to five years old.

What is their conservation status?

Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List classifies them as 'Least Concern'. However, their natural habitat in Northern South America and Central America is constantly under threat, especially from humans.

Two-Toed Sloth Fun Facts

What do Two-Toed Sloths look like?

Two-toed sloth facts are interesting for kids

Even though two-toed sloth looks like monkeys, they aren't monkeys. The two-toed sloth looks like a happy and contented animal because of their forever smiling faces. They have long hair-like fur covering all of their body. These mammals are quite lightweight compared to their size. The significant name of the species comes from the two toes or claws that these sloths have on their front paws. But, they do have three claws or toes in their hind legs. The fur color of a two-toed sloth is usually brown with a lighter-colored chest and belly area. The animal also has light brown eyes and a dark muzzle. The hair strands of sloths have grooves that are able to trap algae. This quality gives a greenish tint to the fur of a sloth and lets them camouflage with the forest fairly easily.

How cute are they?

Sloths are extremely cute mainly because of their smiling faces. Two-toed sloths emit the feeling of being good cuddle buddies.

How do they communicate?

Sloths participate in a vocalized communication, and they produce a hissing sound. The use of squeals and grunts has also been noticed in sloths. The ears of a two-toed sloth is attended to low-frequency sounds, and they are great at picking up vibrations. During the mating season, the female sloths make a peculiar sound to call the males towards her territory.

How big is a Two-Toed Sloth?

The average body length of a two-toed sloth is 21 - 29 in (54 cm - 74 cm). They are slightly bigger compared to the three-toed sloths that have an average head-body length of 23 in (58 cm).

How fast can a Two-Toed Sloth move?

Well, the words fast and sloth sound like an oxymoron when they are placed together. The Two-toed sloth enjoys spending 15 hours a day in the act of sleeping. They even bring down their variable body temperature to have a slow metabolism. The average speed of Sloths is said to be  0.16 mph (0.27 kph). They are even slower on the ground as the only way they can maintain balance is to dig with their claws and drag themselves over the ground.

How much does a Two-Toed Sloth weigh?

The average body weight of a Two-Toed Sloth is 10 lb - 20 lb (4.5 kg - 9 kg) which is quite low compared to other similar-sized mammals. Their comparatively light weight helps the species to remain hanging from trees.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for the males and the females of the species.

What would you call a baby Two-Toed Sloth?

A baby two-toed sloth is known as a cub.

What do they eat?

Sloths are herbivores in nature. They have a four-chambered stomach, so digestion does take a while. Their usual diet includes leaves, barks, shoots, fruits, and berries. They can even feed on wildflowers. In some rare cases, sloths can also feed on vertebrates. There are bacterias present in their stomach that helps them to digest the food. Hence, the two-toed sloths can have long gaps between their eating period.

Are they dangerous?

Sloths may look calm and quiet. But, that is a failed assumption on the part of us humans. As wild animals, the species can very well behave aggressively with intruders. Their claws are quite sharp, and they can hurt others due to the grip.

Would they make a good pet?

No. As a wild animal, the two-toed sloths are not meant to be pets. They are native to the habitats of Central and South America, where they enjoy freely. In a home, the Sloths won't get enough space or even a comfortable place to hang in their position. However, many sloths are found in the zoo, and you can visit them after knowing these fun facts.

Did you know...

Sloth cubs may keep on feeding their mother's milk even when the other sloth has passed away. This mainly happens during the rainy or cold seasons when the gut bacterias of a sloth are unable to process food. This sad instance is known as the 'cold weather orphan syndrome.

Sloths are nocturnal and arboreal (tree-dwelling) in nature.

The Two-Toed Sloth's pooping cycles

Well, we can say that Sloths have an interesting pooping cycle. They may only poop once a week because of their elongated digestive cycle. Many have to come down from the trees to poop, especially when they have constipation which leaves them vulnerable to predators. The two-toed sloth generally passes a firm poo in single pellets. At times the sloths also perform a ritualistic poo dance to get things out of their body. And, yes, it is a myth that sloths die while they poop.

Different types of Two-Toed Sloth

The two types of two-toed sloths are Choloepus didactylus with the common name, Linnaeus's two-toed sloth, and the Choloepus hoffmanni with the common name Hoffmann's two-toed sloth. The main difference lies in their areas of habitation. Linnaeus's two-toed sloths mainly dwell in Southern America, whereas Hoffmann's two-toed sloths live in Central American and the Northern side of Southern America. Also, the former has dark-colored fur around their throat while the latter has light-colored fur in the same area. There is another species called the three-toed sloth that has three claws on all its feet.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including short-beaked echidnas and brown hares.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our two-toed sloth coloring pages.

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