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Eight Things You Never Knew About Sloths

Posted on 17-Aug-2017


Costa Rica is a jewel in Central America’s crown, and home to an abundance of exciting wildlife. But there seems to be one animal dwelling in the country’s forests that attract the most interest is the sloth. And after looking at lots of pictures in the name of ‘research’ for this article – we totally understand why!

These funny, adorable creatures are fascinating to watch and learn more about. We’ve got eight things to share that we bet you never knew about sloths…


See sloths in Costa Rica





There are actually two different families of sloth – ‘three-toed’ (the Bradypodidae) and ‘two-toed’ sloth (the Megalonychidae). Despite being the same type of animal, they won’t ever mate with a sloth of the other kind.

While other mammals have 7 vertebrae, sloths have between 6 and 10 – meaning some of them are particularly bendy!

Sloths are known as slow creatures for a reason – their diets consist pretty much entirely of leaves, which aren’t exactly the best for providing nutrients. As a result? Sloths need to conserve as much energy as possible – including sleeping for more than half the day. Hence the ‘lazy’ reputation!


Sloth in Costa Rica



Speaking of slow… sloths also have a very slow metabolism. It takes them around a month to fully digest a meal!

However, sloths are actually very good swimmers, and are surprisingly effective at escaping predators if needed.

Unlike other mammals, a sloth’s body hair grows away from its arms and legs rather than alongside them. This is due to the fact that sloths spend most of their time upside down – so gravity takes its course!





The sloth’s closest relatives in the animal kindgom? Armadillos and anteaters.

Sloths also serve as homes for other organisms, and on a single sloth you may find several species of moths, cockroaches, beetles, fungi and algae.


See sloths in Costa Rica


Topics: Wildlife