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(vertebrate zoology)
A family of mammals in the order Edentata comprising the true sloths.



(sloths), a family of mammals of the order Edentata. Body length, 50–64 cm; weight, 4–7 kg. The front legs are longer than the hind legs; the toes (there are two-toed and three-toed sloths) have powerful sickle-shaped claws; the neck is very mobile, allowing the head to turn as much as 270°. Bradypodidae have 18 teeth. Unlike other mammals, they have six to nine cervical vertebrae and 14–24 pairs of ribs. The long hair is grayish brown and often has a greenish tinge caused by the algae that grow in it. The senses of sight and smell are well developed in sloths, but their sense of hearing is not as acute. Body temperature is changeable, varying from 24° to 35°C.

There are two genera, Bradypus and Choloepus, with seven species distributed in South and Central America. They inhabit tropical forests, living in treetops. Nocturnal mammals, sloths sleep during the day, curled up in the vertical crotches of trees. They move extremely slowly and are not mobile. They usually hang horizontally from branches with their backs to the ground; they come down only when it is necessary and will crawl across open spaces as far as 30–40 m. Sloths may spend their entire lives in the top of one tree. They live alone or in pairs (rarely); the single young is born once a year. Sloths eat leaves, young shoots, and fruit.


Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
Cinco machos e tres femeas de preguica da especie Bradypus torquatus (Illiger, 1811), familia Bradypodidae, que vieram a obito natural na Reserva Zoobotanica Matinha, localizada em Ilheus/Bahia, foram doados para o acervo da Anatomia dos Animais Domesticos e Silvestres da Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia da Universidade de Sao Paulo com registro do IBAMA n.
Cuvier, 1825 Priodontes Amazonia, Ama, Ara, Caq, 0-500 maximus (Kerr, Orinoquia Met, Vau, Vic 1792) PILOSA Familia Bradypodidae Bradypus Linnaeus, 1758 Bradypus Colombia 0-2160 variegatus Schinz, 1825 Familia Megalonychidae Choloepus Illiger, 1811 Choloepus Amazonia, Ama, Ant, Cal, 0-2000 didactylus Andina Caq, Cau, Cun, (Linnaeus, Hui, Met, Qui, 1758) San, VdC Choloepus Caribe, Ant, Cau, Ces, 0-3200 hoffmanni Pacifica Cho, Cor, Nar, Peters, 1858 Put, Suc Familia Cyclopedidae Cyclopes Gray, 1821 Cyclopes Colombia 0-1300 didactylus (Linnaeus, 1758) Familia Myrmecophagidae Tamandua Gray, 1825 Tamandua Andina, Caribe, Ant, Atl, Boy, 0-1500 mexicana Pacifica, Ser.
Orden Familia Especie Nombre comun * Didelphimorphia Didelphidae Chironectes Chucha de Agua minimus * Didelphis Chucha de Oreja pernigra Blanca (o) Didelphis Chuca de Oreja marsupialis Negra (o) Monodelphis Chuchita adusta Colicorta Morena (o) Pilosa Bradypodidae Bradypus Perezoso de variegatus Tres Dedos * Perico de Pelo * Megalonychidae Choloepus Perezoso de Dos hoffmanni Dedos *, Perico de Pelo * Myrmecophagidae Tamandua Oso Hormiguero mexicana * Cingulata Dasypodidae Cabassous Armadillo centralis Coletrapo * Dasypus Armadillo Comun novemcinctus *, Gurre * Soricomorpha Soricidae Cryptotis sp.
Especies Localidades de Muestreo SP ER W1 DIDELPHIMORPHIA Didelphidae Didelphis pernigra * 4, 5 1 Gracilinanus 8 aceramarcae (^) Marmosops noctivagus 7 Metachirus 1, 5, 7 nudicaudatus Marmosa regina 7 Monodelphis osgoodi * 8 Monodelphis peruviana 8 PAUCITUBERCULATA Caenolestidae Lestoros inca (^) 7, 8 CINGULATA Dasypodidae Dasypus novemcinctus 5 5 PILOSA Bradypodidae Bradypus variegatus 5 PRIMATES Cebidae Aotus sp.