Brown-throated three-toed sloth
Facts about this animal
Sloths are very unusual animals with long limbs, short bodies and stumpy tails, that live upside down in trees, moving slowly and little. To accommodate this lifestyle, the fur grows from the belly toward the back, and the head can rotate 270 degrees.
The three-toed sloth has five simple teeth on each side of the upper jaw, and four teeth in the lower. Thre are no true canines or incisors. The feet have no free toes but three long curved claws that form a hook by which the sloth can hang passively from a branch.
Three-toed sloths may be active at day and night. They usually feed high in the canopy where they are difficult to spot. About once a week they descend to the ground to defecate: while clinging to a tree trunk they dig a hole, defecate in it, and cover it over.
Three-toed sloths give birth to one single young, which spends its first 6-9 months clinging to its mother.
Did you know?
That all sloths have three toes, even two-toed sloths! However, they have only two front claws whereas the three-toed sloth has three of these long, hook-shaped claws.
|Name (Scientific)||Bradypus variegatus|
|Name (English)||Brown-throated three-toed sloth|
|Name (French)||Paresseux à gorge brune|
|Name (Spanish)||Perezosos de tres dedos, Perezoso grisaceo|
|Local names||Brazil: Preguiça-de-bentinho|
|CITES Status||Appendix II|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Range||From Honduras to North Argentina, withouth north-eastern regions of South America.|
|Wild population||Unknown, but widespread and abundant (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||1 reported to ISIS (2007)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 75 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
Photo Copyright by
D. Gordon E. Robertson
Why do zoos keep this animal
The tree-toed sloth is currently not threatened with extinction. It is rarely kept by zoos, although the species is of major educational interest and would be a good ambassador species for its habitat, the threatened neotropical rainforests.
In range countries zoos may keep the species for animal welfare reasons as they may accept caring for injured or orphaned individuals.