Find out 5 things you didn’t know about sloths in issue 37

Our latest issue is now on sale! As well as stunning images and fun, informative articles all about giraffes, flamingos and rhinos, don’t miss our feature on sloths.

As a taster, here’s  5 things you probably didn’t know about these rainforest mammals:

 

1.They’re not actually lazy

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We may think they’re lazy, but wild sloths sleep an average of only 9.5 hours per day.

 

2.They support entire ecosystems

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Sloths provide a home for hundreds of species including moths and beetles. They feed on sloth dung and then settle in the animal’s fur. Because of this, algae grows on the sloth’s fur which helps them camouflage in the trees.

 

3.You wouldn’t envy their metabolisms

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The sloth’s metabolic rate is exceptionally low: half the rate expected for a mammal its size. It can take as long as 50 days for the food inside a sloth’s body to pass through the digestive system which is why they are so slow – they need to conserve energy.

 

4.They don’t often need the loo

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Sloths only defecate once every seven days, a risky toilet break that involves visiting the ground and potentially attracting the attention of predators.

 

5.They have a really strong grip even after death

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A sloth’s claws grow to 10cm (4in) and provide the animal with a tight grip. It is so strong they can even hold on after death.

 

To read more about these adorable creatures pick up our latest issue in your local WHSmith or buy a copy online.