Two Toed Sloth Facts | Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior

The two toed sloth or the Hoffmann’s two toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a native species of Central and South America. It occurs on the forested mountains north of the Andes and west of Lake Maracaibo. They are typically recognized by their two curved claws that are long enough to hook onto the branches of trees.

Two Toed Sloth Facts

Anatomy

  • The Hoffmann’s two toed sloths appear to be same as true two toed sloths. The former has a greater range. Unlike Linne’s two-toed sloths, the Hoffmann’s sloth has three toes on its back feet.
  • It is a medium-size animal with dense shaggy fur covering the entire body.
  • Adult Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths reach a body-length of about 54 to 72 cm (21 to 28 in) with a stubby long tail that further adds 1.5 to 3 cm (0.59 to 1.18 in) to its length.
  • The average weight measures about 2.1 to 9 kg (4.6 to 19.8 lb).
  • It has 5 to 6.5 cm (2.0 to 2.6 in) long claws.
  • Female sloths are only slightly larger than the males.
  • The fur is light brown in color.
  • They have poor hearing and eyesight but sloths do possess good sense of smell or touch.

Distribution & Habitat

  • The two-toed sloths are thought to occur in South America ranging from Nicaragua, eastern Peru, western Ecuador, to Brazil. They are also found in Central America.
  • They are likely to make habitats in the tropical rainforests and cloud forests to an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,830 m).

Feeding Ecology & Diet

  • While most of the sloth’s diet consists of leaves they also consume fruits and flowers.
  • Adult sloths need one month to digest the food. Therefore two-third of the sloth’s weight is of leaves.
two toed sloth facts
Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth ©jaxstumpes.blogspot.com

Behavior

  • Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths are nocturnal and arboreal species. They live in trees and will only come down to the ground in order to climb up another tree.
  • On rare occasions, two-toed sloths remain active by day.
  • They are extremely slow-movers and on each night sloths take 8 hours to move through the canopy.
  • Two-toed sloths move at a speed of 0.14 m/s (0.46 ft/s).
  • They are solitary animals except when the mother is with the young sloth.
  • Sloths rely almost entirely on low-energy leaves as a result of which why they cannot move fast.
  • They are often seen hanging down the branches. They eat, sleep, mate, and give birth while hanging from trees. Some are even found dead hanging from the trees.
  • Sloths however do move on the ground to urinate or to mate.
  • They have got many natural predators such as harpy eagles, anacondas, jaguars, and margays. Many animals though could not reach sloths up the trees.
  • Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths have a home range of about 2 to 4 ha (4.9 to 9.9 acres).

Reproductive Biology

  • A female sloth gives birth to one live young after a long gestation period of one year. She may give birth either on the ground or hanging down.
  • The infants weigh 340 to 454 g (12.0 to 16.0 oz) on average.
  • The infants begin to eat solid eat after 2 – 4 weeks.
  • The weaning period lasts about 63 days.
  • Both parents reach the maturity at 2 – 4 years age.
  • In captivity, Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths live up to 32 years.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

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