Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth
Nicaragua south to Bolivia, Peru east to Brazil
Length: 24 inches
Weight: 12-15 pounds
Up to 35 years
Wild: Folivore – eats mostly leaves, but also fruit and flowers
Zoo: Lettuce leaves, carrots, sweet potato, oranges, grapes and bananas
Gestation: 11.5 months
Litter size: One pup
Sloths have two types of hair – long guard hairs and short undercoat. Colors varies from dark brown to pale yellow, except during the rainy season when algae grows in the hair grooves gives the animal a greenish cast.
Birds of prey, Jaguars, and snakes
About the Animal: Two-toed Sloths are truly arboreal animals, spending all their time in the rainforest canopy. The only time a sloth will descend to the ground is to defecate.
Because they spend all their time hanging upside down, sloths have some unique adaptations for this lifestyle. They no longer have muscles that allow them to walk on all fours, like other mammals, although they are adept swimmers. The hair on their bodies grows from the center of their bellies to their backs, the exact opposite of most other mammals. They do not have individual toes or fingers; instead they have long strong claws to hang from or use to defend themselves.
During the rainy season, sloths turn green. Because each hair has a tiny groove in it, algae are able to grow on the fur, giving it a greenish cast. Sloths support a whole ecosystem on their body of animals who eat the algae, and some who eat other animals!
Mating and Reproduction: After a lengthy gestation period, the pup is born while the mother hangs from a tree limb. Initially pups lie on the mother’s belly until able to support themselves in an upside-down position – about 20-25 days of age. Pups will nurse for at least 9 months, and may stay with its mother for more than 2 years.
Amazing Information: In the wild, female Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth outnumber the males 11:1!