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How Do You Get Away With So Much Sloth?

If you roam around the rainforest at night you might find sloths hanging out in the canopies. Sloths are not big animals — most are no bigger than a small dog. They originally have light brown fur, but may look greenish in color. This is because algae grows all over their coats. This may sound odd, but it actually helps protect them. The green tint to their fur makes it easier to blend in with trees, so predators won’t find them. This is called camouflage.

Sloths are one of the slowest moving animals on earth! They don’t do much, and can live in the same tree for years. They aren’t good hunters, so their diet mainly consists of fruit, plants and twigs. They are herbivores. Herbivores are animals that only eat plants. Because of their slow bodies, sloths don’t need a lot of food to survive. It takes a takes a long time to digest food — sometimes up to a month! Do you think you could wait a month before having another meal?

Tree Sloth
See those long hooked claws? Sloths have claws to hook onto tree branches. They sleep hanging upside-down with their head tucked between their long arms and legs for up to 18 hours a day. Could you sleep in that position for that long?

Hang onto more: Sloths

Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 2: Chapter 1, Lesson 1, Grade 1

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