Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth

Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth

Pale-throated sloth

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Bradypus tridactylus
Population size
Unknown
WEIGHT
3-6.5 kg
LENGTH
45-75 cm

The Pale-throated sloth is a species of three-toed sloth. These sloths have a rounded head with a blunt nose and small external ears. Their limbs are long and weak and the arms are nearly twice the length of the hindlimbs. The hands and feet each have three digits, armed with long, arched claws. The middle claw is the largest and most powerful. Adults are blackish-grey over most of the body, with darker patches on the backs, shoulders, and hips. Males have a bright yellow or orange patch on the back, divided by a central black stripe.

Distribution

Pale-throated sloths are found in northern South America, including Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, western Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil north of the Amazon River. They live only in the tropical forests.

Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth habitat map

Geography

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Pale-throated sloths are solitary animals that spend almost their entire lives in trees. They can hang so securely with their hook-like claws that they even fall asleep in this position. These sloths are known to spend over eighteen hours each day asleep and move through the tree canopy only very slowly. They periodically descend from the trees and move by dragging themselves by their hands. Sloths can stand on their feet, but they can't walk on them. Despite their arboreal lifestyle, these sloths are effective swimmers. Pale-throated sloths communicate using a bird-like whistle call. It is described as an "ai-ai" sound.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Pale-throated sloths are herbivores (folivores). They eat only leaves, including those of Cecropia, Ceiba, Elizabetha, and Hevea trees.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-April
PREGNANCY DURATION
6 months
BABY CARRYING
1 baby
FEMALE NAME
sow
MALE NAME
boar
BABY NAME
baby

Little is known about the reproductive behavior of Pale-throated sloths. It is known that males leave soon after mating without taking part in raising offspring. Females give birth to a single baby, usually in the beginning of the dry season (March - April). The gestation period lasts about 6 months. The young are born already fully furred, and with open eyes. The baby clings to the mother's underside for the first month of life and begins to take solid food at 3 weeks. The young is fully weaned some time after the first month. Pale-throated sloths reach reproductive maturity at around 3 years of age.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Pale-throated sloths.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Pale-throated sloth total population size. This animal is common and widespread throughout its known range. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Green algae live mutualistically in the guard hairs of the sloth. This gives the sloth a somewhat greenish appearance and serves as camouflage.
  • Pale-throated sloths have large forward facing for binocular vision eyes, with round pupils. Unusually, they lack any cone cells in the retina. This suggests that the sloth is unable to see color.
  • Despite its apparently small ears, the Pale-throated sloth has excellent hearing. It also has a good sense of smell.
  • The sloth has nine cervical vertebrae, giving it extreme flexibility. As a result, a Pale-throated sloth can bend its head backwards and forwards through 270° and rotate it through 330°.

References

1. Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale-throated_sloth
2. Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/3037/47436865

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About