Central America, northern South America
Wild: Tender shoots, leaves, fruits, blossoms
Zoo: Fruit and vegetables
Approx. 5 mos.
Sloths hair is course and grooved. The grooves are filled with greenish algae which help conceal the animal in its forest home. Males and females are alike in appearance. Sloths have no canine teeth but their first premolars have a sharp fang-like cusp that gives the appearance of canine teeth and enable the animal to inflict a serious wound. They are about 2 feet long and The most important sense for sloths is smell. They spend 15-18 hours of every 24 in sleep. The rest of the time they are grinding up leaves and fruit and slowly digesting their meal (it may take up to a month) in a large compartmentalized stomach containing cellulose-digesting bacteria. ·Sloths are the most spectacularly successful large mammals in Central and South America. In many places they account for one fourth to two-thirds of the total mammalian biomass, and half of the energy consumption of all terrestrial mammals. This success is largely due to the fact that the effects of competitors and predators are scarcely perceptible. They eat what very few other mammals want, and most predators do not detect them. The metabolic rate of sloths is slow -- about 40-45% of that of a comparably-sized terrestrial mammal.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the RainForest Aviary & Surrounding Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.