Sloths, or Folivora, are arboreal mammals endemic to the tropical rainforest of Central and South America. They are sluggish, preferring to spend time on trees with dense foliage, which is their primary diet. There are two species: two and three-toed sloths, with the former being a little bigger, spending more time hanging upside down and the latter sitting upright. Overall, they have long arms and shaggy fur, stubby tails, tiny ears, and rounded heads with sad-looking eyes. The name sloth comes from slow body movement and metabolism. Their fur is mostly covered with algae for camouflage.

Why do sloths move slowly?

Sloths’ slow metabolic rates make them not able to move quickly on land and even on trees. Fortunately, this is not a disadvantage to them as it is a survival skill. But what is interesting is that sloths can swim quickly. This is because they float easily or have a natural buoyancy.

Are sloths smart?

The fact that sloths move slowly and have small brains compared to their body size doesn’t mean that they are not smart. They are in their own way. They can hang upside down all day, stay still to watch out for predators, swim quickly, are extremely strong, and can make loud vocals to communicate with other sloths.

How do sloths protect themselves?

Camouflage is the best weapon that sloths use to protect themselves from predation. This is in addition to their slow movements, which ensure birds of prey can’t easily detect them. If these don’t work, then they will engage their three-to-four inches long claws and teeth to bite off attackers.

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Sloths Guides
Browse through our curated Sloths Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Sloths. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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5.9”-12.2” | 15-31 cm (Body)
7.1”-14.2” | 18-36 cm
16.5”-31.5” | 42-80 cm (Body)
4.9-13.9 lb | 2.2-6.3 kg
25-40 years
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
31.000
36.000
80.000
6.300
40.00
1750
3D
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
6.3”-8.7” | 16-22 cm (Body)
7.1”-9.8” | 18-25 cm
21.25”-29.1” | 54-74 cm (Body)
9.9-23.1 lb | 4.5-10.5 kg
12-43 years
Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth
22.000
25.000
74.000
10.500
43.00
1300
3D
Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth
6.3”-10.2” | 16-26 cm (Body)
7.1”-11.8” | 18-30 cm
21.25”-34.6” | 54-88 cm (Body)
8.8-24.3 lb | 4-11 kg
20-40 years
Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
26.000
30.000
88.000
11.000
40.00
1000
3D
Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
6.7”-10.2” | 17-26 cm (Body)
8.7”-11.8” | 22-30 cm
21.7”-29.9” | 55-76 cm (Body)
8.8-22 lb | 4-10 kg
12-40 years
Maned Three-Toed Sloth
26.000
30.000
76.000
10.000
40.00
1000
3D
Maned Three-Toed Sloth
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm (Body)
7.5”-11.8” | 19-30 cm
18.1”-29.9” | 46-76 cm (Body)
6.6-14.3 lb | 3-6.5 kg
30-40 years
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
25.000
30.000
76.000
6.500
40.00
1030
3D
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
4.7”-5.5” | 12-14 cm (Body)
5.9”-6.7” | 15-17 cm
17.3”-20.9” | 44-53 cm (Body)
5.5-7.7 lb | 2.5-3.5 kg
30-40 years
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
14.000
17.000
53.000
3.500
40.00
2950
3D
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
Maned Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus torquatus)
Scale illustration of an average Maned Three-Toed Sloth compared to other anteater species

The Maned Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) is endemic to the hilly and forested areas of the Brazilian coast. Its fur usually has a greenish tint with a unique pattern (extending from the hind legs to the head). It is arboreal and constantly found hanging in trees with dense foliage. Its limbs are long, with curved claws forming a hook, tail short and stubby. Females are larger and heavier than males. It mainly consumes leaves. Another common feature is its cryptic coloring and slow movement. This sloth produces high-pitched calls when distressed or captured.

The Maned Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 21.7”-29.9” (55-76 cm) and total weight of 8.8-22 lb (4-10 kg). The Maned Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.7”-10.2” (17-26 cm), body width of 8.7”-11.8” (22-30 cm), and tail length of 1.9”-2” (4.8-5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Maned Three-Toed Sloth is between 12-40 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Maned Three-Toed Sloth
The Maned Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) is endemic to the hilly and forested areas of the Brazilian coast. Its fur usually has a greenish tint with a unique pattern (extending from the hind legs to the head). It is arboreal and constantly found hanging in trees with dense foliage.

The Maned Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 21.7”-29.9” (55-76 cm) and total weight of 8.8-22 lb (4-10 kg). The Maned Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.7”-10.2” (17-26 cm), body width of 8.7”-11.8” (22-30 cm), and tail length of 1.9”-2” (4.8-5 cm). The typical lifespan of the Maned Three-Toed Sloth is between 12-40 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Maned Three-Toed Sloth
Maned Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus torquatus)
Height:
6.7”-10.2” | 17-26 cm (Body)
Width:
8.7”-11.8” | 22-30 cm
Length:
21.7”-29.9” | 55-76 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
8.8-22 lb | 4-10 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 1.9”-2” | 4.8-5 cm

Scientific Name
Bradypus torquatus
Lifespan
12-40 years

Drawings include:

Maned Three-Toed Sloth side view, front

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Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth to other species of anteaters

A dominant character of Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is its slowness. It is found in most countries in South America. It is also called the Linne’s two-toed sloth, unau, or southern two-toed sloth, preferring tropical rainforest with dense foliage. Physically, it has a short neck and four equally long limbs with curved claws. The head is short and flat, eyes large, ears rudimentary, and nose snub. The hair is long and brownish-gray with grooves that collect algae, giving it a greenish tint. Females give birth to live offspring and take part in maternal care. These nocturnal animals primarily do most of their activities hanging upside down.

The Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 21.25”-34.6” (54-88 cm) and total weight of 8.8-24.3 lb (4-11 kg). The Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-10.2” (16-26 cm), body width of 7.1”-11.8” (18-30 cm), and tail length of .4”-1.2” (1-3 cm). The typical lifespan of the Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth is between 20-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
A dominant character of Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is its slowness. It is found in most countries in South America. It is also called the Linne’s two-toed sloth, unau, or southern two-toed sloth, preferring tropical rainforest with dense foliage.

The Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 21.25”-34.6” (54-88 cm) and total weight of 8.8-24.3 lb (4-11 kg). The Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-10.2” (16-26 cm), body width of 7.1”-11.8” (18-30 cm), and tail length of .4”-1.2” (1-3 cm). The typical lifespan of the Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth is between 20-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
Height:
6.3”-10.2” | 16-26 cm (Body)
Width:
7.1”-11.8” | 18-30 cm
Length:
21.25”-34.6” | 54-88 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
8.8-24.3 lb | 4-11 kg
Area:

Tail Length: .4”-1.2” | 1-3 cm

Scientific Name
Choloepus didactylus
Lifespan
20-40 years

Drawings include:

Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth side view, front

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Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
Comparison drawing of the Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth compared to other anteaters

The Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is the most common three-toed sloth. It inhabits the tropical forest and semi-deciduous forests of Central and South America. It has a short tail, feet with long fingers, and long curved claws. Besides, it has a rounded head, blunt nose, and a body covered in grayish-brown to beige fur, though the throat, side of the face, and forehead have dark brown fur. The ears are not clearly visible. The brown-throated three-toed sloth practices monogamy with females vocalizing to attract males. In addition, it is solitary, an herbivore, and active both day and night.

The Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 16.5”-31.5” (42-80 cm) and total weight of 4.9-13.9 lb (2.2-6.3 kg). The Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 5.9”-12.2” (15-31 cm), body width of 7.1”-14.2” (18-36 cm), and tail length of 1”-3.5” (2.5-9 cm). The typical lifespan of the Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 25-40 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
The Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is the most common three-toed sloth. It inhabits the tropical forest and semi-deciduous forests of Central and South America. It has a short tail, feet with long fingers, and long curved claws.

The Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 16.5”-31.5” (42-80 cm) and total weight of 4.9-13.9 lb (2.2-6.3 kg). The Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 5.9”-12.2” (15-31 cm), body width of 7.1”-14.2” (18-36 cm), and tail length of 1”-3.5” (2.5-9 cm). The typical lifespan of the Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 25-40 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth
Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
Height:
5.9”-12.2” | 15-31 cm (Body)
Width:
7.1”-14.2” | 18-36 cm
Length:
16.5”-31.5” | 42-80 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
4.9-13.9 lb | 2.2-6.3 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 1”-3.5” | 2.5-9 cm

Scientific Name
Bradypus variegatus
Lifespan
25-40 years

Drawings include:

Brown-Throated Three-Toed Sloth side view, front

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Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)
Comparison drawing of the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth compared to other anteaters

The Pygmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) prefers coastal and red mangrove habitats. This is in the Isle Escudo de Veraguas. Being that it is arboreal, it feeds mainly on leaves and is very good at climbing trees. This is made possible by its large curved claws and limbs adapted to hanging. It is also called dwarf sloth or monk sloth. It has a buff-colored face, fur in clay-orange, and long and bushy hair on the head and shoulders, although facial hair is shorter. Females show great parental care. This sloth is solitary, prefers sedentary life, and is most active during the day.

The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 17.3”-20.9” (44-53 cm) and total weight of 5.5-7.7 lb (2.5-3.5 kg). The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 4.7”-5.5” (12-14 cm), body width of 5.9”-6.7” (15-17 cm), and tail length of 1.6”-2.4” (4-6 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
The Pygmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) prefers coastal and red mangrove habitats. This is in the Isle Escudo de Veraguas. Being that it is arboreal, it feeds mainly on leaves and is very good at climbing trees. This is made possible by its large curved claws and limbs adapted to hanging.

The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 17.3”-20.9” (44-53 cm) and total weight of 5.5-7.7 lb (2.5-3.5 kg). The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 4.7”-5.5” (12-14 cm), body width of 5.9”-6.7” (15-17 cm), and tail length of 1.6”-2.4” (4-6 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)
Height:
4.7”-5.5” | 12-14 cm (Body)
Width:
5.9”-6.7” | 15-17 cm
Length:
17.3”-20.9” | 44-53 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
5.5-7.7 lb | 2.5-3.5 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 1.6”-2.4” | 4-6 cm

Scientific Name
Bradypus pygmaeus
Lifespan
30-40 years

Drawings include:

Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth side view, front

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Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth to other species of anteaters

The lack of tail and external ears, a slightly rounded head, and a blunt nose are the features used to identify the Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). It is found in the tropical rainforest in southern Central America to north-eastern Argentina in trees with dense foliage. The hair is long and coarse, with some patches of small visible algae, giving it a greenish appearance. Males are identified by an orange or bright yellow patch on their backs. This sloth is arboreal, solitary, existing only inside the forest. It is also slow-moving, an excellent swimmer, and is mostly found hanging upside down. Though it can stand on its feet, it cannot walk on them.

The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 18.1”-29.9” (46-76 cm) and total weight of 6.6-14.3 lb (3-6.5 kg). The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 7.5”-11.8” (19-30 cm), and tail length of .8”-4.3” (2-11 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
The lack of tail and external ears, a slightly rounded head, and a blunt nose are the features used to identify the Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). It is found in the tropical rainforest in southern Central America to north-eastern Argentina in trees with dense foliage.

The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body length in the range of 18.1”-29.9” (46-76 cm) and total weight of 6.6-14.3 lb (3-6.5 kg). The Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth has a body height between 6.3”-9.8” (16-25 cm), body width of 7.5”-11.8” (19-30 cm), and tail length of .8”-4.3” (2-11 cm). The typical lifespan of the Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth is between 30-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth in various poses with dimensions
Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
Height:
6.3”-9.8” | 16-25 cm (Body)
Width:
7.5”-11.8” | 19-30 cm
Length:
18.1”-29.9” | 46-76 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
6.6-14.3 lb | 3-6.5 kg
Area:

Tail Length: .8”-4.3” | 2-11 cm

Scientific Name
Bradypus tridactylus
Lifespan
30-40 years

Drawings include:

Pale-Throated Three-Toed Sloth side view, front

Details & Downloads

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