three toed sloths

Why are sloths so slow?

Giant ground sloths flourished for millions of years, but around 10,000 years ago, they started disappearing along with the Western Hemisphere’s other megafauna. Researchers think that ground sloths could have been pushed out by an oncoming ice age, or competition with other species, maybe humans, who arrived in the region around the time most of the sloths went extinct. Some of the smaller sloths did survive and migrated to the treetops. Today, there are six species left living in the rainforest canopies of Central and South America. 

Hanging out in the trees is a good way to avoid predators, and there are plenty of leaves to eat. But this diet has its drawbacks. Animals extract energy from food and use that energy to move around, maintain their body temperature, keep their organs working, and all the other activities necessary for survival. But leaves don’t contain much energy, and that which they do have is tough to extract. Most herbivores supplement a leafy diet with higher energy foods like fruit and seeds. But sloths, especially three-toed sloths, rely on leaves almost exclusively. They’ve evolved finely tuned strategies for coping with this restricted diet. First, they extract as much energy from their food as possible. Sloths have a multi-chambered stomach that takes up a third of their body, and depending on the species, they can spend five to seven days, or even weeks, processing a meal.

The other piece of the puzzle is to use as little energy as possible. One way sloths do this is, of course, by not moving very much. They spend most of their time eating, resting, or sleeping. They descend from the canopy just once a week for a bathroom break. 

When sloths do move, it’s not very fast. It would take a sloth about five minutes to cross an average neighborhood street. This unhurried approach to life means that sloths don’t need very much muscle. In fact, they have about 30% less muscle mass than other animals their size. Sloths also use less energy to keep themselves warm because their body temperature can fluctuate by about five degrees Celsius, less than a cold-blooded reptile, but more than most mammals. These physical and behavioral adaptations minimize the sloth’s energy expenditure, or metabolic rate. Three-toed sloths have the slowest metabolism of any mammal. The giant panda is second slowest, and two-toed sloths come in third.

Moving slowly has allowed sloths to thrive in their treetop habitat. But it’s also made the sloths themselves a great habitat for other organisms, including algae, which provides a little extra camouflage, and maybe even a snack. Sloths may not be giant anymore, but that doesn’t make them any less remarkable.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why are sloths so slow? - Kenny Coogan

Animation by Anton Bogaty

Ok so I’ve always loved nature documentaries, and Planet earth 2 is so far possibly the best one I’ve seen, and I felt inspired so

I’m gonna make a watercolour painting of the focus animal of each segment of the series AKA hoo boy what have I gotten myself into

1. Pygmy three-toed sloth

More planet earth 2 paintings

Overdue Notice

pairing: Moana x Ariel (moariel)

words: 3k

summary: Moana really wants her book she has on call from the library, it’s been three weeks and it should have been returned by now, when she finally runs into the redhead on campus who’s checked it out it’s more of an experience than she bargained for to finally check it out

The lesbian Disney college AU no one asked for.


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Rufous-crested Coquette, Panama by Juan Carlos Vindas



Valuable and ingenious he might be, thought Jack, fixing him with his glass, but false he was too, and perjured. He had voluntarily sworn to have no truck with vampires, and here, attached to his bosom, spread over it and enfolded by one arm, was a greenish hairy thing, like a mat - a loathsome great vampire of the most poisonous kind, no doubt. ‘I should never have believed it of him: his sacred oath in the morning watch and now he stuffs the ship with vampires; and God knows what is in that bag. No doubt he was tempted, but surely he might blush for his fall?’

No blush; nothing but a look of idiot delight as he came slowly up the side, hampered by his burden and comforting it in Portuguese as he came.

‘I am happy to see that you were so successful, Dr Maturin,’ he said, looking down into the launch and the canoes, loaded with glowing heaps of oranges and shaddocks, red meat, iguanas, bananas, greenstuff. ‘But I am afraid no vampires can be allowed on board.’

‘This is a sloth,’ said Stephen, smiling at him. ‘A three-toed sloth, the most affectionate, discriminating sloth you can imagine!’ The sloth turned its round head, fixed its eyes on Jack, uttered a despairing wail, and buried its face again in Stephen’s shoulder, tightening its grip to the strangling-point.

—  ― Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

Sometimes you just got to hang in there and go toe to toe to toe with your day!

anonymous asked:

Favorite animal?

The majestic sloth. I did a report on the three toed sloth when I was 8 and … what a weird lil coconut boy tbh

Trials of Apollo Spoiler
  • What she says: I'm fine
  • What she means: So wait, when Kayla was a fetus where was she? Did she grow in her Canadian archer dad and he got a C section or did Apollo turn into a three toed female sloth and give birth to her? Was she born like Annabeth? Like she just came to life? How did Apollo explain Kayla to her Canadian archer dad? Seriously could you imagine being Kayla's Canadian archer dad? Like one day you shooting arrows and dating a hot guy and then the hot guy's like "oh, by the way, here's our child go raise her now". How did Apollo explain this whole being a god thing? Did Kayla's Canadian archer dad date other guys after Apollo? How did he explain Kayla? And when Kayla made it to camp did everyone expect her to have a godly mom? When Apollo claimed her and they were all like what? How did the rest of the Apollo cabin treat her when she moved in? Were they used to this? Were they surprised? Come to think of it, Frank is both Canadian and an archer. Does Frank know Kayla's Canadian archer dad? Are Frank and Kayla going to be friends because they're both Canadian and archers? The Canadian archer dad is named Darren Knowles- Darren Knowles= Darren Criss? Why would Darren Criss be Canadian? Can demigods do this? What if Will knocks Nico up? Or what if Nico knocks Will up? If Apollo inpregnated someone in his mortal state would they be demigod or a regular mortal? WHAT HAPPENED IN ALBANIA?