Sloth Facts

29 Interesting Facts About Sloths in Costa Rica

Sloth Facts

Costa Rica is known for its stunning biodiversity, with lush rainforests and diverse ecosystems that are home to a vast array of species. Among these, the sloth is one of the most fascinating and beloved creatures, capturing the hearts of visitors from around the world with its laid-back lifestyle and adorable appearance.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these gentle creatures, exploring the different types of sloths found in Costa Rica, their habitat, behavior, and lifestyle, as well as where to find them and how to experience them in their natural environment.

I will also cover specific questions including habitat and diet with a few photos and videos so you can see as well as read about this adorable monkeys.

Sloth Overview

  • Latin name: Folivora
  • Range: Sloths live in the tropical forests of Central and South America.
  • Population Status: Endangerment
  • Length: Brown-throated sloth: 17 – 31 Pale-throated sloth: 20 – 30 in. Maned sloth: 1.8 – 2.5 ft
  • Life Span: 20 to 30 years
  • Diet: All sloths eat the leaves of the cecropia. Two-toed sloths have a diverse diet of insects, carrion, fruits, leaves and small lizards, ranging over up to 140 hectares. Three-toed sloths, on the other hand, have a limited diet of leaves from only a few trees.
  • Physical Features: Sloths have a thick brown and slightly-greenish fur coat and are about the size of a cat around 2 feet (61 centimetres) long. Sloths have a short, flat head, big eyes, a short snout, a short or non-existent tail, long legs, tiny ears and sturdy, curved claws are on each foot.
  • Where it lives in Costa Rica: Sloths in Costa Rica can be found in large numbers in the Caribbean side (Limon) and in the Central and South Pacific

29 Facts About a Sloth in Costa Rica

1. There are many types of sloths

There are two different types of sloths, two-toed and three-toed, and six species:

  • Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)
  • Maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus)
  • Pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
  • Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
  • Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
  • Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)

2. Sloths have different names in other languages

  • French – la paresse
  • Greek – νωθρότητα (nothrótita)
  • Italian – bradipo
  • Portuguese – preguiça
  • Spanish- perezoso
  • Chinese – 懒惰 (lǎnduò)
  • Japanese- ナマケモノ
  • Arabic – كسل (kasal)

3. “New World” monkeys

They are called “New World” Monkeys because they have grasping tails often with a bare tactile pad.

4. The Size and Weight of a Sloth

  • Brown-throated sloth: 17 – 31 in and 5 – 14 lbs
  • Pale-throated sloth: 20 – 30 in. and 8.4 – 14 lbs
  • Maned sloth: 1.8 – 2.5 ft. and 9.9 – 22 lbs

5. Sloths are slow

Three towed sloths are the slowest mammals on earth (metabolically speaking).

6. The smallest sloth is called a pygmy

The world’s smallest sloth, is the pygmy which are 40 percent the size of their mainland relatives.

7. Sloths live in both Central and South America

The brown-throated sloth is the most common and widespread species among the four types of extant three-toed sloths. The species ranges from Honduras in the north, through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama in Central America, into Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and eastern parts of Peru.

8. Sloth live in Tropical Forests

Sloths are tropical monkeys that live in the tropical forests of Costa Rica and all of Central and South America.

9. Sloths are Agile

The sloth is also quite agile in the trees, it can rotate its feet nearly 180 degrees to reach tree branches.

10. Two and Three towed sloths look similar

The two and three toed slothes look alike in many ways. They both have roundish heads, droopy eyes, small ears, and stubby tails. Two-toed sloths are a little bit bigger and will often spend more time hanging upside-down than the three-toed sloth. The three toed sloth who will frequently sit upright in the fork of a tree branch. Three-toed sloths have the type of face that make it seem like it has a constant smile on its face.

11. Sloths eat plants and animals

Two-toed sloths eat plants and animals. Their diet includes fruits, leaves, insects and small lizards. Three-toed sloths, on the other hand, are almost entirely plant eaters

12. Sloth subspecies

  • Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus)
  • Maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus)
  • Pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)
  • Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
  • Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
  • Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)

13. Groups of  Sloths

There is no recognized collective name for a group of sloths

14. Sloths don’t live together

Sloths are solitary creatures that rarely interact with one another outside of breeding season.

15. Sloths have close relatives

Sloths’ closest relatives are anteaters and armadillos

16. Sloths face Environmental Threats

The sloth population is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and human encroachment. In addition, their restricted diet prevents them from thriving in captivity

17. Sloths can be aggressive

It’s not a good idea to try and test their patience either. Well at least not with two-toed sloths — they are known to be quite aggressive and can do some serious damage with their claws. Three-toed sloths are generally more easygoing, but still don’t appreciate having human hands all over them.

18. Sloths make sounds

Sloths make sounds to communicate. The babies make bleating type sounds if they become separated from their parent. Babies also make high-pitched squeaking sounds, which are thought to be a sign of distress.

19. Sloths have tiny ears

A sloth has tiny ears and doesn’t hear very well. But it has great eyesight, a good sense of smell, and is sensitive to vibrations.

20. Sloths only come together to mate

All sloths are solitary by nature, and come together only to mate. Two-toed male sloths use anal secretions on tree branches to advertise their presence while females in season emit high-pitched mating calls. Males move toward the screaming female, sometimes fighting each other if two manage to reach her at once.

21. Baby Sloths are close to their mothers

Baby sloths like to stay with their mothers when they are young. They love to hang on mother’s fur. This close relationship with their mother will usually last for a year.

22. Sloth is a relative of Aramdillos

The sloth closest relatives include anteaters and armadillos.

23. Sloths stay with their mother for a while

They cling to their mother’s belly until they are able to feed themselves, which can take anywhere from five weeks to six months. After they stop dangling from their mother, little sloths stay by their mother’s side for two to four years

24. Sloths have Toes

All sloths have three-toes, even the “two-toed” ones. It’s true that two-toed sloths only have two claws on their forelimbs, but both the two-toed and three-toed sloth have three claws on their hind-limbs. That means two-toed sloths have “two fingers,” not “two toes”.

25. Sloths can defend themselves

The only weapon sloths have to defend themselves are their large claws. If a sloth gets cornered it will swipe at the predator with its claws hoping to wound the predator or scare it away.

26. Sloths are closely related to maglonyz

Two-toed sloths are most closely related to genera such as Megalonyx, and three-toed sloths belong to a different sloth subgroup which includes behemoths akin to Megatherium

27. Sloths sre nocturnal

Two-toed sloths are completely nocturnal. Although three-toed sloths are both diurnal and nocturnal, they’re largely inactive during the day.

28. Sloths have enemies

Sloths’ main predators – big cats like jaguars, ocelots and birds such as harpy eagles

29. There is a International Sloth Day

International Sloth Day October 20 is International Sloth Day, a day to honor the adorable slow-moving, tree-dwelling, and leaf-eating mammals.

Final Thoughts on Sloths

Sloths are fun to watch, with their cute faces and slow movements. And when you look a little deeper, they’re also smart, solitary animals with complex behaviors