Amazon Rainforest

Top 5 Things You May Not Know About Sloths

Sloths are known for their slow movement and for spending most of their time hanging upside down on trees in the tropical rainforest of South America. Sloths have many unique qualities that many people don’t are not aware of. In this article we will be sharing some facts you may not know about sloths.

Sloths Can Slow Down Their Heartbeat

Even though sloths spend most of their time on trees, they are also great swimmers. Actually, they can hold their breath for 40 minutes underwater. Sloths have the capacity to slow down their heartbeat to one third of its normal rhythm, so they can hold their breath for longer. So, being slow is not always a bad thing! They can also move three times faster in water than on land.

Why Are They So Slow?

Its scientific name, Bradypus, is Greek for “slow feet“, an accurate name for them. A sloths’ diet consist mainly of leaves, which gives them very little energy and nutrition. This is why they move very slowly, to conserve the energy in their body. It can take up to 50 days for a sloth to digest its food, causing them to poop only once a week.

They Don’t Sleep As Much

Sloths are nocturnal animals meaning they are active at night and sleep during the day. Contrary to popular belief, wild sloths in South America have the same sleep routines as humans meaning eight to nine hours. Sloths in captivity, however, can sleep for 20 hours a day.

Sloths Are Flexible

Their stiff lifestyle doesn’t affect their flexible necks. The three-toed sloths can turn their heads 270 degrees. This is possible because they have an extra vertebrae in the neck. Also, sloths can extend their tongues 25 to 30 centimeters out of their mouths

Sloth International Day

To make people aware of sloths, their habitats and the need for conservation efforts, the Sloths International Day was created. Sloths depend on trees in tropical forests for shelter and food, but due to deforestation some of them are under threat. Everyone can help spread awareness by sharing the word, visiting the Amazon Rainforest and staying at Ecolodges to decrease the impact.

In Yacuma EcoLodge, many efforts have been done to preserve the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle. Our bungalows are built in a sustainable manner, in fact, all electricity is provide by solar panels. Plan your trip to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle with us here.