Space & Science

Why are sloths considered as the slowest mammal on earth?

Source: national geographic

Sloths are tropical mammals classified in the family’s Megalonychidae which are two-toed sloths and Bradypodidae which are three-toed sloths. They are named sloths because they seem to be slow at first sight. The surprising burst of speed, predators including their strong body and their ability to swim across the water. They are brilliant swimmers like humans.

Source: Pinterest


Sloth is originally from North America but at present, they live in Central and South America spending their lives in trees. There are two types of sloths two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. Sloths sleep in shape of a ball in trees. They always clinging and hanging to the trees with their long claws and always their face seem as if they have a smiling face.  Sloths come down only for taking bath and to swim.

They even give birth to their younger ones only in trees. And their younger ones stick to their mother for 4 years. Most parts of their lives are spent only on sleeping. They sleep nearly 20 hours per day. Rest of the time they spend on eating and taking bath. Sloth always plays a solo role. They join with other sloths only to sleep in trees.


Sloths are extremely slow due to their low metabolic rate. Their moves are so sluggish. Sloths travel only 125 feet a day. The animal doesn’t have incisors and so they trim down leaves by their lips. A low metabolic rate means sloth can inhale the only little amount of food because it takes days to digest for them. Other animals can digest a large amount of food during a matter of times.

The name sloth in many languages means “Slow”. A two toed sloth differs from a three toed sloth based on their climbing and number of toes. When compared to three toed sloth, a two toed sloth is little faster. They have very low energy due to very low food takes. Sloths take many days to digest their little food they eat when compared to other animals.


The slowest mammal on earth is the sloth. Sloth is as slow as it is meaning is as same as its behavior. It’s also considered as sluggish means lacking energy, slow moving and inactive. In a recent study, researchers have found out that, due to the intake of leafy diet they do not gain much energy from leaves. An animal can’t have only plant leaves as their food and it’s not nutritious.

The study says that sloths use only 460 kilojoules of energy per day. Sloths are the world’s slowest animal on earth. No animal is as slow as a sloth. Sloth is easy to catch by their enemies because of their slowest behavior. Due to their weak legs, they are not able to walk on the ground, and so their keep hanging onto trees with their long claws. They live only in the rainforest.

Article by Abirami

Why are sloths considered as the slowest mammal on earth?


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