English Comp I
August 4, 2011
Two Toed Sloths vs. Three toed Sloths
It is easy to assume there is one kind of sloth. In fact there are six; all of them are closely related to armadillos and anteaters. In this essay I will show you the main differences between the two main species; two-toed and three-toed sloths. According to National Geographic, sloths are the world’s slowest mammal. This is due to the low percentage of muscle mass in their bodies. They can be identified by the number of long claws on their front feet. All sloth’s have the same amount of claws on their rear feet. Sloths are arboreal mammals that live in Central and South America. They prefer to live only in the jungles where they have plenty of food and security from predators by staying high up in the trees. The natural predators for both species of sloth are the jaguar, harpy eagles, and sadly humans. They are nocturnal feeders and like to eat all sorts of things like the buds, leaves and the tender shoots of the cecropia trees, other plants, sticks and sometimes even bugs. Despite the fact that sloths are very slow in the trees and on the ground, they are excellent swimmers, sometimes falling from the rain forest trees into the rivers below. Due to the very slow movement of the sloths, algae grow on their fur. The algae give the sloths brown fur a greenish tint, making an effective camouflage against predators. The sloths fur has its own ecosystem of algae in it. Two-toed sloths are distinguishable from three-toed sloths by the fact they have only two claws on their front feet. Three-toed sloths have three claws. The two-toed sloth is slightly bigger than the three-toed sloth which is around the size of a house cat. The two-toed sloth has very long fur. The three-toed sloth has short furry brown hair and a yellow face. Two-toed sloths are able to survive in captivity while three-toed sloths cannot. The two-toed sloth has...