Three Toed Sloths

Sloths spend their lives in trees, where they blend in with the branches.

Three toed sloths are amazing animals. They are good in water and in trees, but very, very bad on land. So bad on land that they must drag their bellies on the ground!

Three toed sloths live in the rain forests of Central and South America. What makes them so successful is that algae grows on their fur so that they have a greenish tint. That means it is hard to see them in the trees.

Sloths are one of the slowest mammals in the world! They sleep 15 to 20 hours a day and when they are awake, they are still. When they move, it’s like they are moving in slow motion. They have an extra neck vertebrae that lets them turn their heads 270 degrees.

Sloths are identified by the number of claws they have on each foot. There are two toed versions with two claws on each foot and there are three toed ones. Their claws help them cling on to branches.

Sloths eat shoots, leaves, and fruit. They get almost all their water from plants. They eat in the trees.

Sloths are surprisingly good swimmers. They have long arms that make long, efficient strokes. They are good in water but super bad on land. On land their back legs are useless. They must drag them behind while their front legs do all the work.

Sloths mate in the trees, they also give birth in the trees. Baby sloths are known to cling to their mom’s chest for their first 9 months.


Sloths move very slowly – as if in slow motion.


There are both 3-toed and 2-toed sloths, depending on how many toes they have.


Sloths can move quickly if they have to. They sleep 15 – 20 hours each day!


Sloths are cute little buggars!



Sloths are actually quite good swimmers, but are very inefficient on land.


Because sloths move so little, algae grows on their fur.


books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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