Two-Toe

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Two-Toe

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Two-toes and a greenish tint make these tree top dwellers an interesting site to be sure. Sloths are identified by the number of toes on their front limbs. The two-toed sloth has been successfully kept and bred in captivity, where as the three-toed sloth has not. The two toed sloth can be divided into two sub-species: Linnaeus’s Two-toed sloth and Hoffmann’s Two-toed sloth.

The two-toed sloth, being slightly larger than its three-toed cousins, average between 21 and 29 inches in length and between 15 and 17 pounds. These slow moving creatures spend most of their time in the tree top canopies of Central and South America. Sloths sleep 15 to 20 hours a day. Even while awake, these creatures remain still most of the time, qualifying them as the slowest mammal. This enables the creation of a micro habitat where algae can grow. The algae growing on a sloths back is what gives them their slightly greenish tint.

Feeding mostly at night on leaves, shoots, and fruits, sloths have exclusively an herbivore diet and get most of their water from juicy plants. The only time these animals descend from the treetops is once a week in order to poop. Their weak hind legs and long awkward claws make moving on land very clumsy and difficult. Living their whole lives in the treetops keeps sloths safe from many predators, but that once a week decent leaves them very vulnerable.Most of the time a sloth’s main predators are large snakes that venture into the trees and big cats that catch them on the ground or in lower hanging branches.

If a predator was to find a sloth on the ground, it would be virtually helpless.”

Two-toes and a greenish tint make them an interesting site indeed, but that is not all that these sleepy creatures have to discover. For example, being clumsy on land these creatures are surprisingly proficient swimmers. Some times they will fall from the trees directly into the water, they will then stoke with their long, powerful arms to reach the shore. Explore the natural world and you’ll discover the most amazing things.

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Kate Ratliff, Author

Kate is an enthusiastic 12th grader, most interested in animals and nature. She is a girl’s lacrosse player and a student of martial arts. Kate aspires...

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