MorphologyRead full entry
Two-toed sloths have been called the slowest animals on earth. Ranging in length from 21 to 29 inches, Choloepus didactylus is roughly the size and shape of a small dog. The body is composed of a short neck (only 6-7 vertebrae) with four long limbs of equal length, ending in two curved claws. The head is short and flat, with a snub nose, rudimentary ears, and large eyes.
Choloepus didactylus are covered in long brownish-grey hair that curves from stomach to back, opposite that of most mammals. A unique feature of this fur is that each strand has grooves which collect algae, giving the sloth a greenish tint and camouflaging it from predators.
The teeth of the two-toed sloth are small, simple molars that are continously growing but constantly ground down by the mastication of food. To compensate for a lack of sharp teeth, Choloepus didactylus has hardened lips which act to shear and crop leaves.
Range mass: 4 to 8 kg.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry