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West Indian Sloths and Two-Toed Tree Sloths: Megalonychidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Two-toed sloths are also known as unau. Their English name, sloth, means laziness. Sloths' diet of leaves produces little energy, so the animals move slowly to preserve that energy. The lack of energy also results in a low body temperature that ranges from 75° to 95°F (24° to 33°C). This wide range is the most varied of any mammal.

The two-toed tree sloths are solitary and remain alone unless breeding or raising their young. After mating, the male leaves. The female gives birth to one young after about eleven months. Gestation, the time a mother carries the baby inside her, may vary by species. A female Linné's two-toed sloth in captivity gave birth five months after mating. Mothers of both species keep the offspring with them for almost a year.

Two-toed sloths spend most of their lives upside down. They eat, mate, and sleep in that position. The low-energy animals may sleep fifteen hours or more a day. These sloths are nocturnal, and are most active at night. During that time, they eat and move from one tree to another. Sloths usually change locations by climbing on tree branches and vines. If this is not possible, the sloth will climb down and move to another tree.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsWest Indian Sloths and Two-Toed Tree Sloths: Megalonychidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Two-toed Tree Sloths And People, Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth (choloepus Hoffmanni): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVA