Where Do Sloths Live?

Three-toed Tree Sloth enjoying a snack.
Three-toed Tree Sloth enjoying a snack.

Sloths are mammals belonging to the two sloth families of Bradypodidae (three-toed sloths) and Megalonychidae (two-toed sloths). These animals are named so for their idle nature which is a physical adaptation to conserve energy. Here, we discuss the types of sloths living today and also try to answer the question of "Where Do Sloths Live?

6. Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth -

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a type of sloth found in Central and South America. It has a longer snout, absence of hair on the feet of the soles, and an overall larger size. The size of adults ranges from 54 to 72 cm.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth inhabits the tropical forests from the sea level to altitudes of 10,800 feet. Populations of this type of sloth are found in eastern Honduras, eastern Peru, north to western Ecuador, northern Bolivia, and western Brazil.

5. Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth -

The Linnaeus's two-toed sloth (Chloepus didactylus) are larger in size than the three-toed sloths. They also have longer hair, ears, hind feet and head. The back and front legs of these sloths are also almost equal in length. However, they have shorter tails than the three-toed sloths.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

Linnaeus's two-toed sloth lives in the countries of Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Guyanas, Bolivia, and Brazil.

4. Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth -

The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is the rarest species of three-toed sloth. This type of sloth is significantly smaller than other types of sloths. The length of the sloth ranges between 48 and 53 cm and it weighs between 2.5 and 3.5 kg.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

The pygmy three-toed sloth is found exclusively in the red mangrove habitat of Isla Escudos de Veraguas. The range of this type of sloth is thus highly restricted to an area of about 4.3 square km. According to a 2012 census, the pygmy three-toed sloths had a population of only 79 individuals. It is thus classified as a critically endangered species.

3. Pale-Throated Sloth -

The pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) is a type of sloth that is characterized by a rounded head, small ears, and a blunt nose. The arms of these sloths are almost twice the length of their hindlegs, and the limbs are weak and long in general. Males are 45 to 55 cm long and have a short tail. The body of the pale-throated sloth is blackish-grey in color and males have a bright orange or yellow colored patch on the back.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

The pale-throated sloth inhabits only the tropical forests present in the northern parts of South America. The range of these sloths includes Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Colombia, Venezuela, and parts of Brazil that are north of the Amazon River.

2. Brown-Throated Sloth -

The body length of this type of sloth (Bradypus variegatus) ranges from 42 to 80 cm, and it weighs between 2.25 and 6.3 kg. It has a relatively short tail which is about 2.5 to 9 cm long. The head of the brown-throated sloth is rounded with tiny ears and a blunt nose. The fur is grayish-brown to beige-colored, and the face is paler than the body with a dark stripe of fur beneath the eyes.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

The brown-throated sloth is the most common and widespread species among the four types of extant three-toed sloths. The species ranges from Honduras in the north, through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama in Central America, into Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and eastern parts of Peru. The brown-throated sloth inhabits a wide variety of habitats including dry and evergreen forests. The species live in altitude that ranges from the sea level to 3,900 feet although some reports suggest that these animals also live at higher altitudes.

1. Maned Three-Toed Sloth -

The maned three-toed sloth or the Bradypus torquatus is a type of sloth which attains a length of about 50 cm and weighs around 4.5 kg. These sloths have small heads, eyes, and ears. Their small tail remains hidden beneath the fur. The coat of these sloths is long and dark with mane-like fur around the head and neck. The maned three-toed sloths feed on plant parts of selective forest trees like the Cecropia.

Where Do These Sloths Live?

The maned three-toed sloth currently has a highly restricted range that is confined to southeastern Brazil’s Atlantic coastal rainforest. It generally inhabits evergreen forests, but since it can consume a wide range of leaves, the maned three-toed sloths are also found in the semi-deciduous and secondary forest. The sloths inhabit areas with a hot and humid climate with an annual rainfall of minimum 120 cm and an absence of a dry season.


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