Sloth, an animal famous for being slow, a symbol of slowness now known to all. Also symbol of sympathy and carefree thanks to the character of'Ice Age which gave this animal fame, great fame, and notoriety. Now it's back on the screens with another little bit in Zootropolis, Disney animation. The time has come to meet the sloth. The true one.
The name of sloth that we know, in full is Three-toed sloth and comes from the Greek βραδύς (bradús), slow, and πούς (poús), foot. An animal with a "slow foot", a specific reminder of its motor skills: it moves at a maximum speed of about 0.24 km / h (0.15 mph). The sloth it is the only one belonging to the genus Bradypus and the family Bradypodidae, the species most similar to which to approach it is the educational sloth. It is no coincidence that they live in the same geographical areas.
He is a rather solitary and serene type, the sloth, and it couldn't be otherwise, as he moves extremely calmly and sleeps about 19 hours a day. A lifestyle that gives him one average life of about 12 years, like many medium to large dogs, to get an idea.
As the subspecies of sloth we go from about 3 kg in weight to over 10, therefore in length from 40 to 80 cm. The fur is distinguished by a particular characteristic, it is sprinkled with tiny algae, perhaps because it frequents environments all characterized by high humidity.
With saturated air he moves even more very slowly but, once in the water, surprisingly, he becomes a skilled sprinter and loses all his clumsiness. The ideal ambient temperature for a sloth it is around 22 ° C, a condition in which he prefers to eat fruits and vegetables, but drinks very little water, almost zero.
The puppies of sloth at the age of six months they receive the tree on which they grew up "as a gift" from their mother and she leaves leaving them independent. The males then live all their lives on a single tree, while the females, precisely because of this mechanism of the bequest of the tree to the puppy, of any sex, are always between one tree and another.
In general there are no great moments of sociability in a person's life sloth, even if a puppy, once left alone on the tree. He will lead a typically solitary life, we meet each other in the common spaces which are brutally those dedicated to urine and feces. Yet the reproduction happens, opportunities are created, especially between the months of March and April even if the fertile period lasts all year round.
The figure of the sloth father it is not contemplated, the male goes about his business when the female is waiting for the cubs and even after. The gestation period is about six months, after which only one is born sloth, of about 300-500 grams.
Looking at pictures and photos of the sloth often we end up thinking that it is a monkey, but technically and scientifically there is nothing more false. The sloth it is not even a distant relative of the monkeys, instead it belongs to the order of xenartri (or toothless) like the anteater and the armadillo.
Returning to our protagonist, there are four species: Pygmy Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus), Hooded Sloth (Bradypus torquatus), Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) and Variegated Sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
Also called megatherium, the Giant sloth it does not appear in the list above because it is an extinct genus: it lived during the Pliocene and Pleistocene in the Americas. Its appearance is comparable to that of a bear, with its 6 meters in height and a weight of 3-4 tons, dimensions that have been obtained by experts through the study of fossils, the first were found in Argentina, in general the giant sloth inhabited the lands of South America.
Physically it appears to have had a long-haired, woolly coat, broad, stubby paws with claws and a very massive build. As the sloth today, ate vegetables - leaves, grass, fruit, roots, sprouts and shrubs - but occasionally nibbled among the carcasses of animals he found.
From giant to dwarf, better said pygmy sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus), a modern discovery dating back to 2001. They identified it and found it onPanamanian island of Escudo de Veraguas. In weight, compared to the standard sloth, this is almost the age, while the length is 20% smaller. On the island it lives immersed in the coastal mangrove forests and it is not yet known to us humans how many specimens of pygmy sloth exist.
Ice Age Sloth: Sid
I mentioned it immediately, and it was a due tribute, to the very nice Sid of the Ice Age. In this 2002 animated film directed by Carlos Saldanha and Chris Wedge, made by Blue Sky Studios for 20th Century Fox, Sid is a sloth, the only one of the founding members of the pack of protagonists.
Compared to his partners, Sid does not understand absolutely how to behave, he speaks when he shouldn't, he does not have the rempistica of action, he misses the timing and loses opportunities. It is annoying and comical at the same time. You can't hate him though, because Sid is also very loyal, always ready to help friends.
All of us, in cartoon version, the sloth we know it for sure, so here's a video that shows how even the hairy and real version has a negligible load of comic tenderness.
Adopting a sloth is a bit tough, but there are very interesting gadgets and soft toys. In addition to all the merchandising related to the film, there are plushies and puppets like this, Lelly, perfect from 3 years up is very likely.
If you liked this animal article keep following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and… elsewhere you have to find me!
Related articles that may interest you:
- Pangolin: what it is and where it lives
- Macaques: live in nature from -15 to + 30 degrees!
- Monkey of Brazil
- Capybara: price