Three-toed sloth

Three-toed sloth

name = Three-toed slothsMSW3 Gardner|pages=100-101]
fossil_record = (None known)

image_width = 200px
image_caption = Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth ("Bradypus variegatus")
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Pilosa
subordo = Folivora
familia = Bradypodidae
genus = "Bradypus"
genus_authority = Linnaeus, 1758
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Bradypus pygmaeus"
"Bradypus torquatus"
"Bradypus tridactylus"
"Bradypus variegatus"

range_map_caption = Green: "B. variegatus", Blue: "B. tridactylus", Red: "B. torquatus"

The three-toed sloths are the only members of the "Bradypus" genus and the Bradypodidae family. Although similar to the somewhat larger and generally faster moving two-toed sloths, the two genera are not particularly closely related.cite web | url = | title = 3-Toed Sloths | accessdate = 2007-04-09] Both types of sloth tend to occupy the same forests: in most areas, a particular single species of three-toed sloth and a single species of the larger two-toed type will jointly predominate. Famously slow-moving, the sloth travels at a top speed of 0.15 mph. []


Three-toed sloths are about the size of a small dog, with the head and body having a combined length of around 60 centimeters, and the animal having a weight of 3.5-4.5 kg (or between 7 and 10 lbs). Unlike the two-toed sloths, they also have a short (6-7 cm) tail, and they have three clawed toes on all four of their limbs. Three-toed sloths are sporadically active both day and night, typically for about 10-11 hours out of every 24.

They feed almost exclusively on leaves, and, like their two-toed cousins, have a complex, multi-chambered stomach to ferment tough vegetable matter. They move between different trees up to four times a day, although they prefer to keep to a particular type of tree, which varies between individuals, perhaps as a means of allowing multiple sloths to occupy overlapping home ranges without competing with each other.cite book |editor=Macdonald, D.|author= Dickman, Christopher R.|year=1984 |title= The Encyclopedia of Mammals|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 776-779|isbn= 0-87196-871-1] Three-toed sloths have no incisor or canine teeth, just a set of peg-shaped cheek teeth that are not clearly divided into premolars and molars, giving them the unusually simple dental formula of: dentition2|0.0.5|0.0.4-5

The three-toed sloth, unlike most other mammals, does not maintain a constant body temperature, being closer to a reptile in this respect. Because its body temperature goes down as the air temperature goes down, the three-toed sloth is only able to live in humid and warm environments.

Females give birth a single young after a gestation period of around six months. They are weaned at about one month of age, but remain with the mother for several further months. Adults are solitary, and mark their territories using anal scent glands and dung middens.


Previously, three-toed sloths were believed to have lived only in "Cecropia" trees, locally known as Embauba trees. Recent studies indicate that they also reside in at least 96 other tree species. The original assumption was skewed because the "Cecropia" trees have a relatively open canopy, making it easier to observe a sloth in these trees.Fact|date=May 2007


*Family Bradypodidae
**Genus "Bradypus"
***Pygmy Three-toed Sloth ("Bradypus pygmaeus")
***Maned Three-toed Sloth ("Bradypus torquatus")
***Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth ("Bradypus tridactylus")
***Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth ("Bradypus variegatus")


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • three-toed sloth — noun a sloth that has three long claws on each forefoot and each hindfoot • Syn: ↑ai, ↑Bradypus tridactylus • Hypernyms: ↑sloth, ↑tree sloth • Member Holonyms: ↑Bradypus, ↑genus Bradypus …   Useful english dictionary

  • three-toed sloth — tripirštis tinginys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Bradypus tridactylus angl. ai; pale throated sloth; three toed sloth vok. Dreifingerfaultier; Dreizehenfaultier rus. ай; трёхпалый ленивец ryšiai:… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • three-toed sloth — noun Date: 1847 any of a genus (Bradypus) of sloths having three clawed digits on each foot and eight or nine vertebrae in the neck compare two toed sloth …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • three-toed sloth — /three tohd / a small sloth of the genus Bradypus, having three claws on each limb and very long forelimbs. * * * …   Universalium

  • Maned Three-toed Sloth — Taxobox name = Maned Three toed Sloth image width = 200px status = EN status system = iucn3.1 trend = down regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia superordo = Xenarthra ordo = Pilosa subordo = Folivora familia = Bradypodidae genus …   Wikipedia

  • Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth — Taxobox name = Pale throated Three toed Sloth status = LC status system = iucn3.1 trend = unknown image width = 200px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia superordo = Xenarthra ordo = Pilosa subordo = Folivora familia =… …   Wikipedia

  • Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth — Taxobox name = Brown throated Three toed SlothMSW3 Gardner|pages=100 101|id=11800008] status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Chiarello members of the Edentate Specialist Group|year=2006|id=3038|title=Bradypus… …   Wikipedia

  • Pygmy Three-toed Sloth — Taxobox name = Pygmy Three Toed SlothMSW3 Gardner | pages = 100 | id = 11800005] status = CR status system = iucn3.1 status ref = IUCN2007 | assessors = Samudio, R. members of the Edentate Specialist Group | year = 2006 | title = Bradypus… …   Wikipedia

  • Three-toed — may refer to:In mammalogy:* Brown throated Three toed Sloth, species of sloth from Central and South America * Maned Three toed Sloth, species of three toed South American sloth * Pale throated Three toed Sloth, three toed sloth that inhabits… …   Wikipedia

  • Two-toed sloth — Two toed sloths[1] Temporal range: 35–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

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