Wildlife Costa Rica – 10 Sloth’s Best Kept Secrets
I believe most of us have heard about sloths. They can be found in Southern Central America and in most of South America. In Costa Rica they can be found in Puerto Viejo, the South Caribbean region, where the only sloth rescue in the world is located. But do we really know their best kept secrets?
1. Sloths are extremely slow-moving mammals. Actually they are the world’s slowest mammal, so sedentary that algae grow on its furry coat.
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2. Their hair is grayish brown but, at times they look grey-green in color because of the tiny camouflaging algae that grows all over their coats.
3. Sloths are omnivores. They may eat insects, small reptiles, and birds, but their most common food consists mostly of buds, tender shoots, and leaves.
4. Altogether, sloths’ bodies usually are anywhere between 50 and 60 cm long. They also have stubby tails, usually 6â€“7 cm long. These guysâ€™ weight can be 8.75 pounds.
5. The average amount of years a sloth lives is 20 years. Although there have been 40 year old sloths.
6. Most people used to think that sloths slept 18 hours a day. But a recent study indicated that sloths sleep just under 10 hours a day.
7. They go to the ground to urinate and defecate about once a week, digging a hole and covering it afterwards. They go to the same spot each time and are vulnerable to predation while doing so.
8. Mothers also give birth to their babies upside down. Infant sloths normally cling to their mother’s fur.
9. Females normally bear one baby every year. But sometimes sloths’ low level of movement actually keeps females from finding males for longer than one year. They also mate while hanging.
10. Sloths have an extra neck vertebra that allows them to turn their heads 270 degrees.