The Sloths of Costa Rica


Sloths are very slow-moving, medium sized, mammals that spend their lives hanging upside down in trees. Sloths are incredible charismatic animals. They are gentle, adorable, unique, smart, playful and just plain cool! They have hooked claws similar to those of their relatives, the ant-eaters. Sloths do pretty much everything upside down – eat, sleep, mate and even give birth upside down! Because of this, their fur grows in the opposite direction, away from their extremities and with a parting on their belly.

Sloths are classified as folivores, as most of their diets consist of buds, twigs, shoots, fruits and leaves. They have very long tongues to help them grab the leaves that are out of reach. Leaves don’t provide very much energy so sloths have very low metabolic rates, and maintain low body temperatures.

The sloth’s slothful nature is down to its diet – most of the leaves they consume are toxic and take a long time to digest. It usually takes a sloth an entire month to digest just one leaf. If they did so any quicker they would literally poison themselves.

Sloths dwell in the rainforests of Costa Rica. They do not migrate or hibernate so whenever you plan to visit Costa Rica, you can include “sloth spotting” on your itinerary.

Costa Rica is also home to the Sloth Sanctuary, one of the world’s leading rescue facilities. You can also find the sloths in the many forest reserves and national parks.

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