Have you ever wondered why sloths move so slow or stay up in trees? Well, then, read on to get those answers and more!


Far away, there lives a mammal called the sloth. It is a small monkey that lives in the-wait, what? It isn’t a monkey? Well, what is it then? To answer this question, I will take over from here.



The sloth, a small mammal that lives in the Amazon rainforest at around 21-29 inches tall, is, in fact, not a monkey. It is really not a primate at all! It’s actually related to the anteater, and even the armadillo! Many people may think sloths look like monkeys, as they look nothing like their actual relatives, but even if they were primates, they could not be monkeys. Monkeys have long tails, but the sloth has a very ape-like tail, therefore it would have to be an ape if it was a primate.



Sloths mainly live in Central America and the Amazon Rainforest. High in trees, under the canopy, they snack on leaves. This causes a low-energy diet, the main reason they are slow. Although they walk and climb incredibly slowly, they can swim a lot faster, up to 0.17 miles per hour! This can help if there is possibly a flood; they must go down from the tree into the water. Speaking of going down, sloths do occasionally need to go to the bathroom like everybody else! Around once a week, they will climb down the tree and defecate. Much later, a type of insect called the cryptoses moth will lay her eggs in the poop so the newly hatched moths can grow up eating it and having a warm shelter. Of course, you can’t go down a tree without predators stalking you.



The sloth’s main predator is the jaguar. They hunt in the Amazon Rainforest with their color ranging from yellow with black spots to black. They normally cannot get sloths since they live high in trees, but when they go down to go to the bathroom, the jaguars will, if sloths are not careful, snap them right up. Even if they may be a tad powerless, they are still very unique.



The anatomy and behaviors of a sloth impact their features greatly. A sloth’s organs are placed differently in their body than in other mammals’ so as to accommodate their upside-down lifestyle. Of course, you may have heard about Two-Toed Sloths or One-Toed Sloths. The name may be misleading, but all sloths, three-toed, two-toed, and one-toed have 3 toes. The difference is that they have a different number of fingers, so two-toed sloths actually have two fingers, not toes! This is similar to isotopes, which are versions of an element.


Student Responses

iUP student Kariana Karhu says, “They are beautiful creatures who are cute, slow, and important to the earth. Long Live Sloths <3”. iHoot sport section editor Danny Hall says, “I personally like sloths.” Student A. Whitmire says, “Sloths are adorable and valuable creatures who deserve life.”



In conclusion, sloths are interesting animals with unique characteristics. From swimming fast to defecating once a week, from eating to sleeping, sloths are interesting every bit of the way.


Works Cited

Mainly just things by me, so here are the links:

2023 Link: Sloths: An Expository Essay

2021 Link: Sloths