Four fun facts about sloths


59 Responses to “Four fun facts about sloths”

  1. sky says:

    My favourite sloth fact (from Perth Museum’s display): sloths can swim breaststroke and backstroke, depending on which way they fall into the water.

    Depending on which way they fall into the water!

    The same display also informs me that sloths (or perhaps the particular kind of sloth on display) are useless on a flat surface, and can only pull themselves along with their toes.

  2. nehpetsE says:

    Tom Hale,I promise you, i quick image search will reveal pics many animals(in addition to sloths and missionaries) having sex “missionary style”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sloths are the most awesome animals on the planet!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sloths have an interesting cousin too: armadillos. Those who want to know more can check out my book at

  5. Anonymous says:

    hee… now that I’ve been reading up & watching tons of videos on sloths for the last 20 minutes (!)… here’s a funny alpha roméo commercial with the main character being a cute sloth:

  6. Anonymous says:

    SLOTHS ARE AWESOME!!! Ice Age explains Sid the sloth as an average speed animals.

  7. Muloka says:

    Photosynthetic Sloths of Amazonia

  8. Kaz says:

    is it just mean, or do sloths freak anyone else out? I mean, the slowness.. the long arms and long claws… I know they’re just waiting for their chance to spring at me and rip my throat out…

  9. nehpetsE says:

    In evolutionary terms, it makes sense that a remarkably slow metabolism would be an alternate solution to storing fat.
    I also wonder how if the low body temperature could be a factor in how it metabolizes dietary fat.

    ie Human core temperature is above the melting point of butter, but do humans assimilate fats which have a melting point of 110 degrees Fahrenheit?

  10. nehpetsE says:

    Has NASA ever experimented on sloths?

    I NEED to know how an animal with its entire circulatory system designed to function upside down reacts physically to prolonged living at zero Gs.

  11. EricIndiana says:

    How do you know so much about sloths? They seem like wonderful creatures. It sounds like the one who bit the researcher did it was a warning – actually reaching out, grabbing his arm & biting him seems like the way a human would do it.

  12. Terry Karney says:

    nephetsE: Beef fat (tallow) has a melting point of 104-114F

    Leaf Lard has a melting point of 109-118F

    Suet (the hard fat around the kidneys: usually of cattle) has a melting point of 113-122F

    Sheep fat melts at 113-130F.

    Suet congeals at 99-104F.

    The harder fats are harer to digest, because the breakdown requires digestive acids to do the work, but they are digestible (though it helps to have them in conjunction with other food which slow the process and do keep them in the got for a longer period of time.

  13. ill lich says:

    I always thought the slowness was due in part to their diet, which either didn’t give them enough energy, or in some cases had natural toxins that slowed down their metabolism.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “tiny hard drive—epoxied to each sloth’s head like a hat”

  15. Anonymous says:

    I remember seeing sloths way up the Amazon River……and actually ‘petting’ one in Manaus (in captivity). They are amazing creatures and have fascinated me ever since.

  16. Nylund says:

    The sloth in Dallas that they mention is completely out in the open, not in a cage or anything. One could touch it quite easily (I don’t know the official policy on touching though) Those claws were enough for me to keep my hands away from it though!

    I highly recommend going to the Dallas World Aquarium if you’re ever in Dallas. Now I want to stake out the parking lot.

  17. Ghede says:

    Hmm. I remember reading about a species of sloth with genitalia in pairs. Like an electrical socket. I can’t find mention of it again. Was it BS, or am I just not finding that specific species of sloth on wikipedia?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Sloths and their fur-algae. That got me marked down on a paper in 3rd grade. We had to pick a rain forest animal to research and write about. I picked sloths. I did a fuck ton of research, at least for a 10 year old. I wrote about the algae on their fur that protected them from predators because that was SO COOL.

    My idiot teacher thought I made it up, and marked me down for it.

    The next months National Geographic? Yeah, it had a story about THAT EXACT FACT. Which I then brought in and threw on her desk. I totally served her.

    She never did mark me back up for that. Bitch.

  19. Moriarty says:

    They use bathrooms?!?

  20. Anonymous says:

    water rises 50′ in rainy season….sloths swim underwater ,eating for long periods.
    nobody looked in that season, only after scuba and video has it been seen.
    and they’re fast!

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is a poem I just learned(I’m in 5th grade).
    The Sloth by Bobbi Katz
    A living cradle in my tree,
    It’s usually snoozle time for me.
    A bag of fur with hooks for toes,
    That’s the way a sloth’s life goes.
    I nibble on a leaf or two,
    It’s such slow work to chew and chew.
    My eyes spy a slice of sky,
    The wind sings me a lullaby.
    Softly my eyes close and then,
    I drift off to sleep again.
    Let the monkeys leap and run,
    My lifestyle’s not for everyone.
    I’m not as lazy as I seem,
    I have so many dreams to dream,
    So very many dreams to dream.

  22. Halloween Jack says:

    I knew that those claws weren’t just for show.

  23. RainyRat says:

    I can’t remember where I read it, but my favourite sloth fact is that when the babies are learning to climb, they’ll occasionally mistake their own limbs for bits of tree, grab onto them and plummet groundwards.

  24. stosh machek says:

    i learned when playing paintball how remarkably hard to see you can be if you just sit still

    • Jerril says:

      It gets even better if you grow your own ghillie suit :D Which is what sloth’s algae-stained shaggy mess is, really.

  25. complex says:

    One of my fond Bio-class memories is the rapturous look on a professor’s face as he recounted the privilege of being present for an extremely rare sloth dump.

    I remember him as saying that this species of sloth (whatever species that was) only took a dump once a year, but that’s probably my memory’s exaggeration. But I know he was very happy to have been there for it. Probably an important sample-collection event.

  26. Lobster says:

    Of course they didn’t sleep well with a chip on their skull and a whirring hard drive glued to their head!

  27. Anonymous says:

    so, this is extremely disturbing to hear that scientists are epoxying hard drives to the sloths! that is wack and i feel that this is actually against what a true, earthen scientist is. /i heard there is this kind of shit happening to puffins in the Arctic regions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on. It’s awesome and cute at the same time, chill out. Beetles live on sloths – I don’t think a tiny hard drive will give them much grief.

      Come to think of it, SSDs would be better.

  28. Anonymous says:

    “he’s ever found any sign of a fat deposit is on the pads of their feet.”

    Ah yes, as with most mammals,

    The best meat is on the feet.

  29. nemofazer says:

    One of Douglas Adams’ favourite facts (and by extension, one of mine):

    Young sloths will sometimes try to grab their own limbs mistaking them for tree branches, and fall out.

    From the Salmon of Doubt.

  30. nemofazer says:

    Sorry rainyrat, only just noticed you remembered the same fact. So here’s another. According to David Attenborough, they will slowly climb down a tree to defecate on the forest floor, then climb back up. No one’s quite sure why.

    • phlavor says:

      My canoe tour guide in Costa Rica seemed pretty certain that they bury their poo to prevent getting smelled out and eaten by jaguars.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the sloth realize that it is more polite to have people step in it that to have it drop from above and never figure out where it came from?

  31. EMJ says:

    Three less fun sloth facts:
    The maned sloth is an endangered species.

    The majority of sloth deaths in Costa Rica are due to contact with electrical lines and poachers.

    “Sloths as pets”

  32. Felton says:

    So unfair that they’re one of the seven deadly sins.

  33. semiotix says:

    Regarding the anecdote above, I think I could handle being a sloth researcher who got attacked by a sloth. But I don’t think I could handle being the sloth researcher who got attacked by a sloth and then had to tell the EMT, “It all happened so fast!”

  34. voivoed says:

    I’m from Brazil and I’ve always been told that sloths can really mess you up with those claws.

    When I was a kid, a relative of mine lived right by some woods and there was this one sloth that used to come down from the trees and walk around on the ground around the development. It was pretty friendly but I always kept a safe distance. Those claws were wicked-looking. :-|

  35. Anonymous says:


  36. teknocholer says:

    I could climb the very highest Himalayas,
    Be among the greatest ever tennis players,
    Win at chess or marry a Princess or
    Study hard and be an eminent professor.
    I could be a millionaire, play the clarinet,
    Travel everywhere,
    Learn to cook, catch a crook,
    Win a war then write a book about it.
    I could paint a Mona Lisa,
    I could be another Caesar.
    Compose an oratorio that was sublime.
    The door’s not shut on my genius but
    I just don’t have the time!

    Flanders & Swann: “The Sloth” from “The Bestiary of Flanders and Swann”

  37. al91206 says:

    Not a “fun” fact: Most of them can’t survive in zoos.

    Just wondering how many sloths had to die to figure that one out?

  38. PaulR says:

    They have “conical teeth that look like triangles in cross section”. Like Ferengi teeth?

  39. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read that due to their slow metabolism sloths can remain submerged for long periods of time, when caught in rivers during floods for instance. I believe it was something on the order of 10-20 minutes straight.

  40. charlesj says:

    Great, a pretext to share my only sloth joke:

    A sloth is making his way through the forest when he is attacked by a gang of snails. After fighting them off, he goes to the police station to report the assault. The policeman asks him to describe the attackers, and he replies: “I didn’t see much, it all happened so fast.”

  41. MacSmiley says:

    *** The photo on this page is credited by flickrfavorites to **

    Here’s the 1600×1200 version with the watermark in the upper left corner:

    Of course, who knows where got the image.

  42. Suburbancowboy says:

    More fun facts about sloths:
    They sleep 18 hours, but they always party 24.
    Hunt in packs and they eat algae off their fur.
    Got 3 toes, but they’ll pound 3000 Bud Lights.

    • noah django says:

      I was going to mention that they hire dogs to burn down hospitals, but I see you’ve already cited my source.

      So odd that I looked up this sketch again only a few days ago. Hivemind.



      SUCK IT!”

    • Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

      Love the SNL skit, so awesome. Was just about to post it.

    • Anonymous says:

      YES!! Love the SNL skit – I hadn’t seen that. So great, thank you.

  43. AsteriskCGY says:

    Woah, an eagle can flip upside down to grab prey?

  44. leeson says:

    my wife is from the jungles of la moskitia in central america and had a sloth for a pet. She said, and her father confirmed, that they spend “a part of their life living in water and when they come out they look and smell horrible. They turn completely green.” To her it was a kind of metamorphosis. I didn’t believe her at all but apparently they don’t mind the water?

  45. Cactaur says:

    Morbid curiosity, but after reading I had to check youtube. In this case the eagle went sideways rather than upside down.

  46. Tom Hale says:

    I know I’ve read somewhere that sloths are the only animal other than man that has sex face to face – has this been mentioned?

Leave a Reply