Our Sloth Backpack Project reveals that sloths spend about 90% of their day inverted; the internal adhesions make that possible by reducing sloths’ energy expenditure. Because of their extremely slow metabolic rate and exceptionally low body temperature, it can take up to 30 days to digest a single leaf. Having a constantly full stomach means they can’t ingest much on a daily basis, so their caloric intake is very low. Sloths have virtually no flexibility in their energy budget: they generate just enough energy from their diet to move when and where required; beyond that, not much more is stored.
Why do sloths hang upside down for so long? Because they need to eat tender new leaves that grow on the outer tips of branches. These leaves often have a lower toxin content and are easier to digest. In order to reach these choice leaves, a sloth has to hang by its toes.
Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year this year was spent in South America. Episode 4 sees them jetting off to Costa Rica to visit some sloths and learn about their sleepy ways! Watch the video from 33:53 for the sloth segment.
One of the cutest members of the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, meet Lunita the sloth.
More gorgeous photos on Buzzfeed!
Today is the boy’s birthday! We had friends over last night, have spent all day together today and will see family tonight. He is the cherry on top of my sloth-filled life and I love him so very very much, not least for putting up with this all-consuming obsession of mine (and, generally, encouraging it…).
The other day the Google Doodle featured a sloth for the Costa Rica vs Netherlands World Cup 2014 match! This speedy little sloth was good at defending! So were the Costa Rica side actually, but unfortunately they couldn’t get over the line in the end. Click here for a link to the archived Doodle which was animated.
Having trouble finding a gift for the sloth lover in your life? With Christmas fast approaching, you’ll need to be quicker than a sloth if you want to get them that present they will treasure for many long, slow years. Here’s a short guide to my top ten picks.
Number 10: Sloth Art by Tara Billinger– These plus many more!
Number 9: Sloth Socks from Sockittome.com
Number 8: Sloth Love Mug from Cafe Press
Number 7: “The Croods” movie
Number 6: “A Little Book of Sloth” by Lucy Cooke
Number 3: Sloth rings from Etsy
Number 2: Three Toed Sloth toy from Amazon
AND NUMBER ONE: If your recipient simply has everything already, why not make a donation on their behalf to the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, to help rehabilitate injured sloths and return them to the wild.
Happy shopping, and Merry Christmas!