Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Sloth.

What hangs upside down from trees and lets beetles live in it's fur?
The Sloth.

Sloth's are creepy.

Sloth's are one of the most amazing animals in the world and they most certainly are not creepy. You know what is creepy? 
The "Aye-Aye"
  
But we're talking about sloths so back to the subject. 

The Sloth is known for being super lazy and it's true they are very lazy. They move at an average of 6-8 feet per minute, in fact they move so slow algae grows on their fur. This in the end proves to be beneficial to sloths because they mostly stay up in the trees so the greenish tint on their fur is a form of camouflage. The algae also benefits from this symbiotic relationship, since sloth fur is long it absorbs water which the algae can use to grow. Sloth fur is also a popular housing spot for beetles, cockroaches, and ciliates. One study found more than 950 beetles living on a sloth. See I told you they were important. 
Three toed sloth hanging from tree
The main source of nutrition of a sloth is leaves, twigs and fruit, this is mainly the reason why they are so lethargic. Sloth's have a 4 part stomach which digests the food that it eats, it can sometimes take a month before a single meal is digested. The sloth spends as much a 20 hours a day sleeping while hanging or curled up on a tree branch. Sloths only leave the tree to get rid of waste in their body because once they leave the tree they are exposed to many predators and their only form of defense is their long claws. Eagles are even known to snatch up small sloths! Although they are mostly found in trees they are excellent swimmers because of their long arms, they are known to drop from tree branches into water.

Scientist say very long ago the sloth used to be the size of a present day elephant. Can you imagine seeing a sloth that big! That would be so amazing. 

In conclusion sloths are amazing animals that are greatly under appreciated. We should learn more about them and admire their lazy way of life. So instead of saying "sloths are creepy" think again because you're wrong. 

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