Two-Toed Sloth

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Two-Toed Sloth (C. hoffmanni)

Interestingly enough, the two-toed sloth actually has three toes on its feet! A more accurate name for this creature would be the “two-fingered sloth,” because they have two fingers on their front two limbs, which are more akin to arms with hands rather than legs with feet.


Content List

1. Scientific & Common Names

2. Characteristics

a. Breeding

b. Behavior

3. History

4. Present Status


Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Superrder - Xenarthra

Order - Pilosa

Family – Megalonychidae

Genus - Choloepus

Species – C. didactylus, C. hoffmanni

Common Names - Hoffman's Two-Toed Sloth, Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth


Characteristics

Docile, friendly, and quite slow, the two-toed sloth can be found hanging upside down from trees in South and Central America.


Breeding

Female sloths lick the male's face to show interest. Baby sloths gestate in the womb for about a year, and birthing is done either on the ground or hanging from trees. In captive settings, other sloths will position themselves below a mother to catch a baby that may fall during the birthing process.


Behavior

Like most sloths, the Hoffman's two-toed sloth is extremely slow and spends almost all of its time up in the trees. They hang from branches with their large hook-like claws. In fact, the family name (Megalonychidae) means "great claw". The sloth's slow moving nature is a way for it to compensate for its low energy diet.


History

While you might think a sloth’s super slow speed is a disadvantage when it comes to surviving in the wild, it actually allows them to survive on extremely low-energy diets. Also, because sloths move so slowly, they rarely attract attention from predators and can blend into the tree canopy where they spend most of their time. Despite their adorable appearance and gentle temperament, sloths do not make greats pets and are instead best observed with our scientifically true-to-life figurines!


Present status

Hoffman's two-toed sloth is rarely encountered by people, so reliable data is difficult to come by. While it is a species of "Least Concern", it's likely that habitat destruction is having a negative effect on the sloth's population.