Two-toed Sloths

The two-toed sloth does everything while hanging upside down from trees, including eating, sleeping, mating and even giving birth!

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Sloths move very slowly and sleep for up to 15 hours a day to conserve their energy.

This is mostly due to their diet, which consists of low-energy food such as leaves and occasionally fruit.

Sloths have grooved hair that allows algae to grow there, giving the animals a green tint that helps camouflage them in the forest.

If you spend a lot of time hanging in trees then you need to be able to hold tight, and the sloths have a very powerful grip. Their long claws curve around tree branches like a safety harness.

Despite this powerful grip, sloths actually have a relatively low muscle mass of around 25% - mammals usually have around twice as much.

Our two-toed sloth, named Tina, arrived at Chester Zoo in February 2012 after moving from a zoo in Germany where she was born in 2011.

A two-toed sloth at Chester Zoo

Facts & Info

Interesting facts

Where they live: Northern South America

Habitat: Lowland and tropical forest

Size: 60 to 70cm

Weight: 7-9kg

Conservation status: Least concern

Threats: Deforestation, hunted for meat and fur