sloth


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sloth

(slōth, slôth), arboreal mammal found in Central and South America distantly related to armadillosarmadillo
, New World armored mammal of the order Edentata, a group that also includes the sloth and the anteater, characterized by peglike teeth without roots or enamel. Armadillos are found from Argentina to Panama, with one species reaching the southern United States.
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 and anteatersanteater,
name applied to various animals that feed on ants, termites, and other insects, but more properly restricted to a completely toothless group of the order Edentata. There are four species classified in three genera, all found in tropical Central and South America.
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. Sloths live in tropical forests, where they sleep, eat, and travel through the trees suspended upside down, clinging to branches with the powerful curved claws of their forelimbs and hindlimbs. Algae that grow on the hair impart a greenish color to the coat, which blends in with the foliage, but the algae are also eaten by the sloths. There is no tail.

The three-toed sloth (Bradypus) is about the size of a house cat, with a dense, furry coat and yellowish face. It has three toes on the front feet and five on the hind feet. In addition to algae, its main food is the leaves, buds, and stems of Cecropia, a tropical relative of the mulberry. The somewhat larger two-toed sloth (Choloepus) has very long hair. It eats a less restricted vegetarian diet. Sloths move sluggishly but can strike swiftly and powerfully if attacked. Huge ground sloths (see megatheriummegatherium
[Gr.,=large beast], extinct ground sloth, of the genus Megatherium, that was widely distributed in North and South America in the Pleistocene epoch. Fossil evidence shows that these mammals became extinct comparatively recently, about the time that the first
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) are extinct forms.

Sloths are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Edentata, families Bradypodidae and Megalonychidae.

sloth

[släth]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several edentate mammals in the family Bradypodidae found exclusively in Central and South America; all are slow-moving, arboreal species that cling to branches upside down by means of long, curved claws.

sloth

arboreal mammal, always associated with sluggishness. [Zoology: Misc.]

sloth

any of several shaggy-coated arboreal edentate mammals of the family Bradypodidae, esp Bradypus tridactylus (three-toed sloth or ai) or Choloepus didactylus (two-toed sloth or unau), of Central and South America. They are slow-moving, hanging upside down by their long arms and feeding on vegetation
References in periodicals archive ?
I ended up staying for a couple of days and helping out with the sloths that had been rescued from poachers.
Mere 'study' of them may end in the 'little love' which produces sloth.
After obtaining the laboratory results, we confirmed that a local group in charge of the collection and treatment of injured animals usually released rehabilitated 3-toed sloths into Tiger Camp.
She calls her sloths "three-fingered" instead of the more common "three-toed" because all sloths, even so-called two-toed species, actually have three toes on their hind legs.
A recent attempt by Dallas World Aquarium officials to remove critically endangered pygmy three-toed sloths from an island in Panama got nixed by local police and residents, caused an international uproar, and sparked off an intense debate on conservation methodologies.
Sloths live in the rainforests of Central America and South America.
Since then, humans have taken over responsibility from the giant sloths for the avocado's survival but how it managed to get through the first 10,000 or so years after the giant sloth's extinction remains a mystery.
But this all quickly fades into insignificance as soon as I manage to spot the sloth I'm looking for.
Ole Sloth Hansen commented, "At the beginning of the year, gold was still regarded as a potential strong performer in 2013.
The Green Heritage Fund Suriname (GHFS), a nongovernmental organization protecting Suriname's wildlife and biodiversity, is at the forefront of sloth protection, having undertaken a massive effort to rehabilitate and relocate 200 homeless sloths.