Why we love sloths (so freaking much!)
Anyone following us on social media will know we just sent a team out to see the incredible eco-lodges and projects that Costa Rica has to offer. Max and Co headed to The Sloth Sanctuary to meet one of our favourite animals. So we thought we’d take a close-up look at this gorgeous creature and tell you our favourite facts about this furry little character..!
1. I can relate…
Sloths are named for their slow, deliberate movements. We think it is a little unfair, being named after one of the seven deadly sins! That said, the sloths do sleep up to 20 hours a day and spend much of the rest of their time eating. Sloths’ slow metabolism is designed to preserve as much energy as possible as an adaptation to their low energy diet of mostly leaves. Digesting food is a pretty major part of a sloth’s day. In a well-fed sloth, as much of two-thirds of a sloth’s body weight is made up of its stomach contents! The digestive process can take as long as a month to complete!
2. They bounce!
We are NOT suggesting you drop a sloth from a height. Please don’t do this. But it is good to know that they might be OK. Sloths give birth upside down in the trees (where they spend most of their life). Infants cling to their mothers fur but now and then, one will fall off. Sloths are pretty sturdy creatures, possibly for this very reason, and babies rarely die from the fall, though mum may not always be too pleased about having to climb down to retrieve them!
3. Friendly fella
Sloths are pretty unsociable animals, spending time together only to mate. However, the pattern of the three-toed sloths facial fur does give it a rather delightful permanent smile. The three-toed sloth is the one you may see sat upright in the branches of a tree rather than upside down.
4. Scary big brother
For all the sloth’s apparent charm, their prehistoric ancestors are something else altogether. Although sloths are now only found in the rainforests of South and Central America, the ground sloth ranged widely and could be found as far north as Canada and Alaska. Most ground sloth were small but the giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum) was the size of an elephant! We are not sure whether meeting one would be a dream come true or a nightmare!