Meet the sloth
• Meet the sloth
Most of us know about sloths only that they are very slow, live in trees and eat leaves. Today we take a closer look with these amazing and interesting animals.
Sloths - unusual animals.
Sloths, like, anteaters and armadillos, belong to the order edentates mammals. Relatives are sloths armadillos and anteaters.
The photograph brown-throated sloth (Bradypus-variegatus) in Costa Rica:
Sloths are found in the dense tropical forests of Central and South America. When -That long time ago is a funny and clumsy animal could be met, and in North America.
Lenivets not be called handsome, sometimes look even a little discouraged. Sloths are so slow that their wool often live butterfly ognovka. In addition, the coat of many species of sloths living blue-green algae (bacteria capable of photosynthesis), giving sloths greenish color that makes them invisible, and is an additional source of food.
This completes the long and powerful claws like hooks. Their length can reach 7.5 centimeters, and that at the average body length of 50-60 centimeters. Hang on these claws and climb through the branches - a pleasure.
But when you walk on the ground there is a lot of problems with them:
The most abundant and common form - this three-toed sloth or ai-ai (ay-ay). its body length is 50-60 cm, and weight - about 4-5 kilograms. He has a very long neck, with which the sloth is no problem to reach the desired leaflets without spending an action or effort. For the same reason they are able to turn its head 180 degrees, just like owls. Fur is gray-brown color.
On the collared and burogorlom sloths known not so much as a three-toed. The main differences between these species consist for the most part in the coloring of animals. We collared sloth on the back near the neck and shoulders have a black sash. He dwells in the north-western part of Brazil and Peru. In burogorlogo sloth on the throat has a dark stain.
All sloths have a unique fur - her hair does not grow on the ridge top to bottom, and vice versa, from the bottom up. This feature is caused by hanging their way of life. This allows water to flow freely from the coat. Sloth teeth due to lack of enamel are dark, almost black color.
Special ingenuity they, too, are no different. Small head crowned as small ears and small eyes, so good hearing and eyesight sloth can not boast. But well-developed sense of smell.
What is the cause of the well-known slow sloth? The answer to this question lies in its diet. It is almost by 95% consists of tree leaves. Do not give up on them and more nutritious food in the form of insect or small yascherets, if they can catch, of course.
Such low-calorie foods such as leaves, does not have high nutritional value, and hence the energy of it is formed not so much. Therefore, in the waking hours (9 hours per day), they move very slowly and only in cases of extreme necessity - on the next branch or a tree for a new portion of food.
Another means of saving energy is the decline in body temperature during the night. This is possible only in sloths and those animals that hibernate, such as bears. And with the advent of the sun, they are trying to find a place lighter and warmer, hoping to raise their body temperature. A similar process is observed in reptiles.
The dream in life sloths occupies a large part - in the day they can sleep up to 15 hours of Sleep caught all four paws on the branch and semicircular arched back.
On the ground sloths look very helpless. Although this is the case. His body in the firmament of earth they moved with great effort, propped his elbows and slowly moving the legs, move forward.
In the water, they feel themselves more confidently. Here his movement speed is slightly higher than on the ground and in the trees.
The lazy man can not defend himself or escape from a predator. Nevertheless, sloths are very numerous due to the color and slow movements, making them virtually invisible.
is also interesting that almost every sloth their taste preferences, the benefit of a wide variety of vegetation makes it possible to make their choice in favor of one or other leaves of trees. It does not cause the need for competition for food and sloths peacefully coexist with each other, although they live separately.
Sloths can withstand a drop from a great height, and serious bodily injury. Small lenivchiki not cling to trees, and for the mother's hair. Sometimes they fall, and at the same time can be lost, as the mother can not climb down at his calf.
Sloths feed on the leaves of certain trees. When in captivity, "transplanted" animal to another plant "kitchen", he may die. Although the natural environment of their life expectancy can reach 30 years.
sloth breeding process occurs only in the trees. Pregnancy lasts six months. The female gives birth to only one cub, but hairy, sighted and has clawed. With the help of its claws baby tightly clings to mother's fur. To 9 months, the baby is on the mother, and then moved to an adjacent branch.
In nature, these animals have only two enemies - a jaguar and man. Meat sloths locals eat, and from his tough skin made coverings for seats. Long curved claws are for the manufacture of necklaces. Cutie:
At this point we can not say that sloths are endangered, except collared sloth. This species is declared endangered. But the large number of special and they also can not boast. The main reason for their decline is deforestation.