Three-Toed Tree Sloths: Bradypodidae
Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (bradypus Variegatus): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, THREE-TOED TREE SLOTHS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS
Three-toed tree sloths live in Central and South America. Species are found in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, French Guiana, and Guyana. Monk sloths live only on Escudo de Veraguas Island off the coast of Panama.
Three-toed sloths live primarily in forests. They are located in rainforests, where heavy rain throughout the year produces abundant growth. Some species also live in dry forests and coniferous forests where leaves are green year-round. In addition, sloths have been found living in trees in parks and pastures.
Three-toed sloths are herbivores and eat the leaves and shoots of trees. Sloths move slowly because their diet of leaves produces little energy. To make up for the lack of energy, sloths have a low body temperature of 86° to 90°F (30° to 34°C).
Three-toed sloths can be important to medical research because they heal quickly and do not get infections easily. Scientists are interested to know why this is.
The maned sloth is ranked as Endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). This species faces threats of becoming extinct in the future because habitat is lost as trees are cut down in forests. Hunting also reduces the population.
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