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Pilosa – Megalonychidae

Tree Top Exhibits


Linne’s two-toe sloth Choloepus didactylus


body length: 53 - 74 cm (1.75 - 2.4 ft) tail: absent

weight:. 4-8 kg (8.8-17.6 lbs.)

distinguishing features

  • l

    ong, coarse, wavy hair; tan-brown in captivity. Hair curves from the stomack to the back (opposite of most mammals).

  • Teeth are small, simple molars that continuously grow.

  • long claws

  • short neck with 4 long limbs of equal length, rudimentary ears, and large eyes


  • solitary in wild but groups of females will sometimes occupy the same tree.

  • hisses in defense and bears teeth

  • will also let out low cries or moans if distressed

  • hangs upside down most of their life (even when sleeping, eating, mating or giving birth).

  • arboreal; comes to ground to defecate or to change trees

  • nocturnal, sleeping of 15 hours and awake only to feed.

  • defends itself by biting and slashing claws, but primarily relies on camouflage for protection.


Stay high in the tropical forest canopies, and maintaining a range of 10-acres.

geographic locale

Central America an northern South America, including Brazil and Peru.


gestation: 279 days average

birth: 1 offspring each year

  • 14-16 month interbirth period

  • young are altricial (dependent upon parental care for survival)

  • babies will cling to their mother’s belly for 5 weeks until they have the strength to move on their own.

life cycle

life span: wild: 20 years

captivity: 30 to 40 years


wild: berries, leaves, tender twigs, fruits. On occasion been known to eat insects and other small prey.

zoo: canned primate diet, yam, fruit, vegetable (cut into french fry-shaped pieces so they can grab the food), egg



  • IUCN redlist as Least Concern

  • US Federal List as Threatened

  • CITES no special status

  • Threathen by habitat destruction due to logging and hunting for meat


Class: Mammalia Order: Pilosa Family: Megalonychidae

  • The super order Xenarthra (meaning “without teeth). Animals in this super oder all lack incisors, canine and premolars.

  • The super order Xenarthra, is broken into 2 Orders: Cingulata (includes armadillos) and Pilosa (includes sloths and antearters).

  • The earliest xenarthrans were arboreal herbivores with simple teeth, small brains, and sturdy spines.

  • also called the two-toed sloth

  • one other species in genus; there are three species of three-toed sloths

  • used to be placed in the same family as the extinct giant ground sloths


  • body temperature ranges from (78-98)

  • predators include eagles, jaguars, people

  • Food remains in their short digestive tract for approximately one month.

  • Defecates only once a week.

  • Good swimmers.


  • M11002 male “Inigo” DOB unk - wild

Monique Wong 10/11

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