Two-Toed Sloth

Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth

Choloepus didactylus

DID YOU KNOW?

Sloths come down from their trees about once a week, to defecate.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Upland Tropical Rain Forest

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Linne's Two-Toed Sloth

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. Howie and Xeno were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively. And most recently, Camden, was born at National Aquarium in 2012.


Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

With two claws on the front feet and three on the back, Linne’s two-toed sloths are designed for an arboreal life. They move through the tree branches and even mate and give birth while hanging upside down!

While baby sloths begin eating solid foods within a couple of weeks after birth, they remain with their mother for almost a year.

These sloths reach sexual maturity in approximately three years.

Sloths may sleep 20 hours a day, curled up in the fork of a tree.

Sloth Conservation

The Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened however other species of sloth, such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at National Aquarium help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals. Forest fragmentation forces sloths to come to the ground to travel to additional food trees. On the ground, they become easy prey for dogs and humans. Additionally, many sloths are either killed or injured when trying to cross roadways, others are electrocuted by overhead electrical lines.



Linne's Two-Toed Sloth Facts

Diet

Leaves, shoots, fruits, and possibly an occasional egg make up the wild two-toed sloth’s diet. Here at the Aquarium, we feed our sloths green beans and other vegetables, sweet potatoes, grapes and other fruits, and a commercial diet formulated especially for leaf-eating animals.

Size

Linne’s two-toed sloths will grow to the size of a small dog, approximately 24–30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

Range

Northern South America

Population Status

Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened, but habitat loss and fragmentation of forests pose many concerns.

Predators

Ocelots, jaguars, and harpy eagles are the sloth’s main predators. Some humans hunt and kill sloths for food. Forest fragmentation forces sloths to come to the ground to travel to additional food trees. Cumbersome on the ground, they are easy prey for dogs and humans. In addition, many sloths are killed by motor vehicles when trying to cross roadways, and others are electrocuted by overhead electrical lines.

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Meet Scout, Our Newest Sloth

Scout the Baby Sloth and mother Ivy.  Photo property of National Aquarium.

We're excited to announce the birth of Scout, our newest sloth, born on November 17, 2013.

Meet Scout

Sloth Infographic

Super Sloths

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Ken Howell
Curator of Rain Forest Exhibits

pressroom striped fish

As the curator of rain forest exhibits, Ken starts his day early with an exhibit walkthrough to make sure everything is running smoothly. Learn More

A Note From the Caretaker

Two-toed sloths do not have true canine teeth, but have sharpened premolars. Keepers must use caution when handling animals during health exams and nail trimmings to avoid being bitten. Four of our sloths were born here at the National Aquarium.

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