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Two-Toed Sloths are almost entirely arboreal and nocturnal animals

By: C.M.Shorter

Two-Toed Sloths are almost entirely arboreal and nocturnal animals resting in the crown of trees and are particularly fond of taking up positions in the lianas that lace the canopy tree tops. For an animal that sleeps up to 20 hours a day this provides shelter and sends a warning of danger by any movement of the lower portion of the interlocking woody vines from approaching predatory jungle animals like Anacondas, Harpy Eagles, Jaguars and Ocelots. Two-Toed Sloths have subtle body markings for the most part with faces lighter in color than overall body tone. Skulls are relatively short yet distinctively rounded with external ears reduced in size. Tails in Two-Toed Sloths are absent unlike the Three-Toed Sloth which has a small tail and markedly longer forearms. Sloths can turn their head 180 degrees in both directions, an adaptation that only a handful of other animal groups share with them like Owls and some Prosimians.

Reproduction is also an upside down event! A mother sloth gives birth to a single baby while their stomach is facing up. Breeding season is in early Spring with a gestation period of 120 days typically. Like the Sanctuary's Ring Tailed Lemurs, the mother Sloth does not build a nest but rather the baby Sloth stays on its mother's back until it is old enough to take care of itself (see our Ring Tail Baby pictures). The weaning period for the baby Sloth is slightly longer however, as they do not feeding independently until the age of 5 months and they continue a close association with their mothers for a period of 2 years. Conservation Status of the Two-Toed Sloth is listed on CITES but it is not currently listed as an endangered animal.

As always, we hope you found this piece interesting. You will see in our Mission Statement our goal of providing you with the best Educational Information available. We sincerely hope our efforts will help instill the value of global conservation and animal education as part of your own goals. We invite you to check out other areas of the Sanctuary’s Web Site such as our World famous Animal Web Cams featuring our Tigers, Lions & Lemurs in beautiful naturalistic habitats.

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