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Two-toed Sloth (Linne’s)


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Two-toed Sloth (Linne’s)

Choloepus didactylus
Class: Mammalia Order: Xenarthra Family: Megalonychidae
Description

Hair is long and brownish-gray, and curves from the stomach to the back, opposite of most mammals. The limbs are long and the forelimbs are slightly longer than the hind limbs. The forefeet have 2 digits, which are not toes but long, curved claws, and the hind feet have 3 digits. The claws are used for suspension from tree branches. Average weight is roughly 11-14 lbs. and length ranges from 21 - 28 in. head to tail.


Range

Central and South America


Ecology

Diet: in the wild - a variety of twigs, leaves, & fruits; they may also derive nutrition by absorption or ingestion of algae growing in the hair; on occasion they will eat insects or other small prey; in the Zoo - a variety of fruits & vegetables, leaf-eater biscuits, hard-boiled egg

Habitat: tree-dwellers in tropical forests, both rainforest & deciduous forest
Lifespan/Social Structure

Females tend to associate in groups, but males are usually solitary. The female portion of the population outnumbers the male by as much as 11:1. Females reach sexual maturity at 3 years and males at 4 - 5 years. Single births are the norm and gestation is estimated to be about 6 months. Babies cling to the hair on their mother’s belly. Young first hang upside down at 20 - 25 days after birth and begin to feed away from the mother at 5 months. Young will continue to associate with their mother until at least 2 years old. The amount of time between births is usually 14 - 16 months. Lifespan is about 20 years in the wild and up to 32 years in captivity.


Special Information

  • Sloths are mainly arboreal and hang upside down in trees; all normal activity (eating, sleeping, mating, and giving birth) occurs while hanging upside down.

  • They only leave the trees to urinate & defecate.

  • Each strand of sloth hair has grooves which collect algae, giving the sloth a greenish tint, camouflaging it in the trees.

  • Sloths cannot walk; they are outstanding climbers and very good swimmers.

  • Activity is mostly nocturnal; even crepuscular activity is uncommon.


Miller Park Zoo Specimens

Name Sex Birthdate Obtained From: Date Obtained

Chloe F 9/8/92 Henson Robinson Zoo 9/18/01


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