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Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)

The brown-throated sloth is the most common of all of the different species of thee-toed sloths. That being said, not a lot of people know much about these slow mammals. So what does the science say about them?

Physical Description and Behavior

These sloths can be up to 31 inches long and have a very short tail. They, of course, have three toes which have claws up to 3 inches long. Their fur is a grayish-brown with a darker brown on their throats, as is their namesake.

They are well known for being slow and often sleep for upwards of 18 hours a day. While they can walk across the ground and even swim, they spend the majority of their time in trees. They may come down from a tree every week or so to poop, ad then go back up. Male sloths may even fight each other for mating rights, which must be a pleasure to see in slow-motion.

They may visit a variety of trees in their lives but may form a preference for a certain type of tree. And while they are generalists in what they eat, they often can prefer one type of leaf over the others. The slowness of their body may be a way to reduce their metabolism as their diet mainly composes of leaves.

Habitat and Location

It can be found in a variety of forests, but often does not stray far from the Amazon Rainforest and the Rio Negro. This is understandable as it spends the majority of its time in trees.

To learn more about sloths in general, watch this PBS short:

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