On our first trip to Costa Rica, our tour guide stopped the van we were riding so we could witness a painfully slow ascent of a female sloth. There were other tour groups whose vehicles also stopped for this rare spectacle for cruise passengers. With irate local drivers honking horns, we didn’t see her complete the task. Our tour guide assured us that the sloth would eventually climb to the top of the tree stays there only to come down when she gets hungry.
Last weekend, we watched a 60 Minutes Special on Sloths. I always thought them to be comical and even slow witted but I was wrong.
Here are interesting data on sloths.
- Sloths are about three times stronger than humans. They can use one of their arms to lift up their entire weight.
- Sloths ability to move three times as fast in the water compared to on land is because sloths are able to keep their nose above water while swimming.
- Sloths are color blind. Known as Monochromacy, like many animal species, sloths lack cone cells in their eyes.
- Sloths make up their lack of eyesight by having great sense of smell.
- Sloths are found in the trees if the tropical rainforest of South America and Central America.
- Sloths live most of their lives hanging upside down.
- Sloth mother gives birth in trees. After birthing, mother sloth scoops up her baby and places across her stomach.
- Sloths are considered to be most closely related to anteaters.
- Sloths have 2 extra vertebrae in their neck and they can turn their head 270 degrees.
- Sloths can turn green. It is a camouflage method. By growing a layer of algae. Sloths protect themselves from predators.
- Sloths diet is primarily fruits and leaves.
- Sloths sleep on average 15-20 hours within a day.
- Sloths have been around for 64 million years.
Adorable three toes sloths have lovable expression. But behind their heart shaped, smiling faces are complex and interesting animal who could teach humans to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Aloha -- Cathi