Males advertise their presence by distributing pungent smelling anal secretions onto branches. This is thought to serve as a way to designate a meeting place between females and males. The female may also advertise that she is ready to mate by exerting a high-pitched scream. In response, interested males will move towards the female. If two males arrive at the same time, confrontation can occur. Confrontation between males is an upside down event. They grasp a branch with their hind limbs and swing with one or both forelimbs at each other until one of them gives up. The male that remains will mate with the female numerous times and then leave her on her own. Reproduction in C. hoffmanni also occurs in a hanging position.
Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Breeding in Hoffman's two-toed sloths is seasonal. Pregnancy occurs during the rainy season and births at the beginning of the dry season. The gestation period is about 11.5 months and usually yields a single offspring. Newborns are about 25.4 cm long and weigh approximately 12 ounces. Offspring are born with claws, which are used to cling onto the mother soon after birth. The mother carries her young for 6 to 9 months, thereafter the offspring is independent. It has been reported that young are able to consume solid food as soon as 2 to 5 weeks. Nursing may stop as soon as the end of the first month. Sexual maturity in Choloepus hoffmanni is reached at about the age of 3 in females and 4 to 5 years in males. The inter-birth interval lasts at a minimum 15 months.
Breeding interval: Interbirth
Breeding season: During the rainy season
Average number of offspring: 1.
Average gestation period: 11.5 months.
Average birth mass: 0.34 kg.
Average weaning age: 1 months.
Range time to independence: 6 to 9 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 3 years.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 4 to 5 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous
Average birth mass: 402 g.
Average gestation period: 350 days.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 730 days.
Males typically lack interest following birth of offspring and are not involved in their upbringing. Females are the sole source of parental care following birth until independence. Newborns are partially precocial, although do depend on the mother for a short time. The mother carries her young wherever she goes, providing milk in the first month and solid food thereafter. While young are carried around by their mothers, they learn where and what types of leaves are best to eat. As a result of this, familial selectivity of tree types has been reported. Independence is usually acheived by 6 to 9 months.
Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); inherits maternal/paternal territory
- Gilmore, D., C. Da Costa, D. Duarte. 2001. Sloth biology: an update on their physiological ecology, behavior and role as vectors of arthropods and arboviruses. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 34:1: 9-25.
- 2009. "Two-toed Sloth, Choloepus didactylus & Choloepus hoffmanni " (On-line). Fact Sheets- San Diego Zoo Library. Accessed November 03, 2009 at http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/sloth/sloth.htm#behavior.
- Taube, E., J. Keravec, J. Vie, J. Duplantier. 2001. Reproductive biology and postnatal development in sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus: reveiw with original data from the field (French Guiana) and from captivity. Mammal Review, 31: 173-188.
No one has provided updates yet.