The sloth species differ greatest at two-toed and three-toed sloths. Both have three toes on their back paws, but the two-toed sloth has two fingers on its front paws. Within the two-toed sloths their is Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth and Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth. In the three-toed sloth species, there is the Pygmy Three-toed Sloth, Maned Sloth, Pale-throated Sloth, and Brown-throated Sloth.
There are six different species of sloths. The species differ in that two out of the six are two-toed and the remaining four are three-toed.
The pale-throated three-toed sloth has long silky hair with dense fur under it that protects the sloth from predators. The males differ from the females in that they have bright orange patches in their ear and on the middle of their back. They have a thick and short body with long, thin arms giving them great mobility.
The brown-throated three-toed sloth has long, coarse thick hair with a brownish grey color. Their sharp claws act as a weapon against predators. The way these slot males are distinguished from their females are by the white or orange patch of fur with a black stripe located between their shoulders.
The maned three-toed sloth gets its name perhaps from its manelike coat. Living inside the sloth’s outer coat are algae, mites, ticks, beetles, and moths. The maned three-toed sloth is a good swimmer but cannot stand or walk. It travels by moving from tree to tree with its limbs and if necessary, by dragging itself along the ground by its front legs.
The Pygmy three-toed sloth is the smallest of its’ species. Their fur is a grayish-brown with a tan colored face. To camouflage itself against enemies the pygmy sloth covers their fur in algae.
The Hoffman’s two-toed sloth can take up a week to digest a meal! This makes life easier for them as they reside mainly in trees and only has to come down to the ground every 5-7 days to extract their bodily fluids or solids. The Hoffman two – toed sloths dwell in South and Central America.
Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth females reach sexual maturity around 3 years old and males around 4 to 5 years of age (of course!). After birth the baby sloth is able to feed on its own by 5 months. However, the mother and offspring can hold close ties until the age of 2.
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