…..right? I mean, they’re called sloths, aren’t they?
I don’t know if this little sloth is happy about this bath, but he certainly is cute.
There are six species of sloth alive today. I decided to blog about all of them.
I find all that classification stuff interesting, but if you disagree, you may skip this paragraph. Sloths are mammals (duh) in the superorder Xenarthra, which also includes armadillos and anteaters, and which looks really cool because it starts with an “X.” They’re in the order Pilosa, which they share with the anteaters. The suborder Folivora contains two families of sloths, with six total species: two-toed sloths (2 species in Megalonychidae) and three-toed sloths (4 species in Bradypodidae).
The sorts of sloths that exist today tend towards the small and deceptively cuddly-looking (take a gander at those claws again), but they have some extinct relatives that were more on the megafauna side of things. (See families Megatheriidae, Nothrotheriidae, and Mylodontidae.)
This is a bucket full of baby sloths. The two at bottom right are French kissing.
That’s all for this week. Trust me, you couldn’t take any more than this.
(See Slothville for more sloths if you don’t want to heed my warning…)
…you need to read “The Mystery of the Sloth Poop” at Mental Floss.
Three-toed sloths leave their perches high up in the trees once a week, when they shimmy down to the ground to poop.
Two-toed sloths, meanwhile “prefer a ‘bombs away’ style of defecation,” just letting it drop.
By descending to the ground to take the kids to the pool, the three-toed sloth puts its life at catastrophic risk. Any random jaguar, or even a jaguarundi, that happened to be passing by would have an almost effortless meal. So why do it? Since three-toed sloths still exist, it obviously hasn’t proven fatal vis-à-vis natural selection, but it doesn’t seem like something they would do without a very good reason.
Scientists think they know what that reason is.
No, I’m not going to tell you. You have to go read the article. Sheesh.
Photo credit: By Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
These are BuzzFeed headlines that I saw listed together:
We can probably thank/blame Kristen Bell for popularizing both sloths and mild emotional instability. I wouldn’t mind at all if slow lorises had their day, but I hope it doesn’t take away from the sloths. See, I was into sloths before they were cool. I am a sloth hipster. So there.
Decide for yourself who is cuter: