By JESSIKA PETERSON

 

Sloths are one of the slowest animals on the face of the earth, but they are also one of the smartest animals. They are funny, cute and very noisy.

There are two species of sloths that are alive today: the Choloepus and Bradypus. The Choloepus is the two-toed sloth, the Bradypus is the three-toed sloth.

The Choloepus is very different to its cousin, the Bradypus. Their vertebrae are different to most mammals; they have five to six instead of seven. The male Choloepus have a pale back that is the same colour as their fur.

The Bradypus have eight to nine vertebrae instead of seven. The male Bradypus have black and orange patches on their backs that contain oil.

The Choloepus and Bradypus sloth are the only two species of sloth left on earth. There are more than one type of each sloth, but they are the only main species left. Within them, we have the Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus), maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus), pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus), brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) and Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni).

Sloths are losing their homes to deforestation, so they have to go to a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. The sanctuary has staff who know what they are doing when they are looking after these sloths.

In the sanctuary, the sloths live in luxury. They have enclosures for all the sloths; age does not matter. They have a nursery for the abandoned babies, swinging seat for the queen of the sanctuary, and a jungle gym to practice climbing on. They also rescue sloths from all sorts of different dangers. The staff at the sanctuary also have fun looking after the sloths.

The sloth sanctuary is right next to a jungle and, when it is mating season, the screaming females attract a lot of attention from the males. The males come from the jungle to mate with the females, but they get caught by the sanctuary staff and taken back to the jungle away from the females, so they do not mate with them, for more baby sloths might get abandoned by their mothers.

Sloths are endangered. The organisations that are trying to help keep the sloths alive are: Sloths of Costa Rica – Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release, and the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). You can help by donating to the organisations that help sloths, so in turn you are helping them.

The websites I got these facts from were Wikipedia, the WWF and I watch a bit of Meet the Sloths on Animal Planet.

 

This article was submitted for The Common Room, a place for all young people to share their views. Got something to say? Everyone’s welcome – click here to contribute!

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