(Good Things Utah) – Do you ever wonder what a sloth does all day besides sit in their tree looking cute and cuddly? Today on International Sloth Day, Lesley Scoville, a Keeper from Loveland Living Planet Aquarium introduced Deena to the one-of-a-kind animal to uncover what their day-to-day looks like and get to the bottom of why they move so slowly.
Takoda is what’s known as a Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth. He is one of six species of sloths that all live in Central and South America.
The Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth is found in northern South America, and like all sloths, it enjoys the slow life. Takoda, staying true to the species, mostly eats leaves but will occasionally eat fruit and—more rarely—insects and bird eggs. He hangs upside-down with his two front claws on each hand and three claws on each foot as he slowly makes his way through the trees.
Because he is so slow, Takoda also has a slow metabolism meaning he doesn’t need to eat that often; If he wasn’t in a climate-controlled enclosure, he would have to live in tropical rainforests to keep warm. Because they live as drowsy tree-dwellers, Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths sleeps up to 20 hours a day.
About once every week, they descend to go to the bathroom, slowly moving about by digging their front claws into the dirt and dragging their bodies. If they are caught by a predator, sloths turn from sluggish to slugger, biting fiercely, hissing, slashing with their claws, and shrieking.
FUN FACT: It’s surprising to anyone that sloths like Lakoda typically only poop about once a week!
In the wild, a slow animal might seem like an easy meal for a predator, but sloths have ways to help protect themselves. Their slow movements in thick foliage and nocturnal eating habits make it hard to be spotted by predators. Their fur often contains green algae that will also help camouflage them during the day as they sleep.
Two-toed sloths live 10 to 15 years in the wild and can live over 30 years under human care.
If you want to see a sloth in person and maybe even get to know one by name, visit the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
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