Two-Toed Sloth

Scientific name
Choloepus didactylus

Feeding type

Central America and Northern parts of South America, like Brazil and Puerto Rico

Tropical Rainforest Canopies—top layer of rainforest
Diet in the wild: Plants (leaves, and twigs), fruits, insects

Diet at the zoo
leafy greens, yams, apples, bananas
20 years in the wild; 30-40 years in captivity

The two-toed sloth is about 2- 2 ½ feet long with gray-brown fur. It weighs from 10 to 20 pounds. Two-toed sloths are aptly named, having only two claws on each of their two front feet, though they have 3 claws on their each of their hind legs.

The two-toed sloth is a nocturnal, mostly solitary animal, although sometimes multiple females will share one tree. Two-toed sloths spend all of their time in treetops, hanging upside down. Their bodies are built to hang this way…so much so that they can’t easily walk on the ground; they have to crawl whenever they get down on the ground to defecate, or sometimes switch trees. Luckily, though, they have such slow metabolisms, meaning they process food very slowly, that they only need to defecate once a week. Water isn’t an issue for the two-toed sloth either, and they don’t have to descend from the trees to drink because they obtain their water from the plants they eat and dew on leaves.

There isn’t much known about the mating habits of two-toed sloths, except that mating occurs while both the male and female are hanging upside down from the trees. The mother also gives birth to her baby, only one at a time, while hanging upside down. The newborn clings to its mother’s stomach for about five weeks until it is ready to be independent and hang on its own.
Though the two-toed sloth population is still thriving, it is in danger of losing its habitat due to logging.
Fun Facts: Sloths have no canine or incisor teeth, just molars for chewing. Algae grow on the fur of sloths and aid in camouflaging them by giving their fur a greenish tint.