I’m writing for both Medium and Read.cash at the moment, and this article can also be found there for anyone interested.

A two-toed sloth relaxes in the trees.

What Are Sloths?

Before we move on to what makes these little fellows so fascinating, let’s define what a sloth is for anyone stumbling on here who doesn’t know.

I think three-toed are a little cuter…

They’re Slow! But Only Out of the Water…

They swim with the best!

This Slowness is a Defense Mechanism

Sloths are slow, tree-dwelling, solitary animals. That basically means that when it comes to mating, they need to be able to find each other first.

Their Primary Diet is Leaves — And a Lot of Them!

This one should be somewhat obvious, as these are tree-dwellers, but only the three-toed sloth is an herbivore! The two-toed sloths will eat insects, small lizards, and fruit in addition to foliage.

It’s a Chore for Sloths to Poop

Remember when I said that the female sloth will leave her scent on her tree via pooping at its base? Yeah, that’s just how sloths normally defecate, even outside of mating season. They trek down from their tree once a week solely to relieve themselves at its base!

Sloths Are the Only Animals That Can Hang Upside Down Indefinitely

Sloths have a special adaptation that no other animals have, and because of it, they can hang upside down for as long as they like. They can eat, mate, and even give birth upside down!

They May Hold a Cure for Cancer

This one is a little iffy, as there are many animals that scientists claim could help us cure cancer, but in this case, it isn’t the animal itself, it’s the fungus that grows on its back!

They’re Super Gross (in the Wild), but That’s Also a Defense Mechanism

In captivity, these little cuties are kept clean and happy, with no predators around to catch and eat them. In the wild, however, they have another defense in case their sluggishness fails them: smelling awful.

Guy Andersin spends his time writing, learning languages playing video games, creating games for PC and iPhone, binge watching movies and TV shows, and camping.

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