5… Reasons… We… Love… Sloths
Sloths! We love them! They eat, sleep, and live life one slow day at a time. But there’s more to these little guys that meets the eye, so we made a list of reasons sloths are one of our favorite tree-dwellers!
Their ancestors were GIANTS
Over 5 million years, the megatherium americanum roamed South America. These giant sloths measured up to 12 feet and weighed several tons. It’s believed that humans drove it to extinction by hunting these gentle giants, but their descendants live on in our hearts.
Their “laziness” serves a purpose
Sloths have been crowned the slowest animals on earth, moving at a pace of up to 8 feet per minute, beating out its competitors like tortoises. This has lead many to believe that sloths are not intelligent and are easy prey. But while there are species of sloths that are endangered, four out of the six are thriving and it’s because of their “slowness.” The fact is that their slow movements make them almost invisible to predators that rely on sight to hunt down prey and because their main source of food is not very nutritious, their slow movements save enough energy to live long healthy lives.
They’re regular Michael Phelps…es
You wouldn’t guess by seeing them move on land, but sloths are incredibly great swimmers. Because sloths rely on their arms to move they have the necessary upper body strength to make them skillful swimmers. In addition, sloths can hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes!
They could change medicine forever
A few years ago, a Panamanian study found that fungi living in their coats = contain compounds that could potentially be used to fight bacteria, breast cancer cells, and even certain parasites that disease.
They’re the original tree-huggers
Sloths are arboreal mammals, meaning they eat, sleep, mate, and give birth while hanging from trees. While this seems like an incredible feat, their anatomy allows them to breathe easier this way, while their strong claws were made for gripping… and that’s just what they do!
These amazing animals might be thriving, but species like the three-toed sloth are endangered due to habitat loss created by humans. You can help! When you donate to Project Peril, you are ensuring species like the sloth, are protected.
Currently, we’re working to save the endangered pygmy three-toed and maned sloth who live in the rainforests affected by the Amazon wildfires.