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Common Name:

Hoffman’s two-toed sloth


Latin Name:

Choloepus hoffmanni


Family:

Megalonychidae


Range:

Central and South America

Coloration and Morphology:

Fur is light brown to dark brown in color. It has blonde to reddish brown hairless face. The two-toed sloth has two fingers on its hands and three claws on its feet. It has 5-6 cervical vertebrae or neck bones that are located between the shoulders. The skull sits on a pivotal bone so the sloth can turn its head 90 degrees. It has five teeth located on both sides of the upper jaw, and four located on each side of the lower jaw. There are also two large, blade like teeth in the front of the upper jaw that are used for biting. The average weight for Hoffman’s two-toed sloth is around 10-20 pounds and the average length is around 21-29 inches. Its internal organs are located in different parts of the body because it spends so much time in an upside down position. Its four-chamber stomach is filled with bacteria that help with digestion. It possesses a greenish tint because algae collects in its fur and aids in camouflage in the canopy. Hoffman’s two-toed sloths normally live for around 10-15 years in the wild.

Reproductive cycle:

Hoffman’s two-toed sloths reach sexual maturity at 3 years old (females), and 4-5 years old (males). Mating occurs throughout the year, although there is some evidence that suggests there is an increase in courtship during the months of March and April. Gestation usually lasts for about 10 months. Females give birth while in an upside down, hanging position. The infant grabs onto the fur of the mother and climbs up to the chest in order to begin nursing.



Habitat:

Hoffman’s two-toed sloths usually reside in humid, warm, and well-established tropical communities. The canopy allows lateral movement without having to descend to the ground. The trees also provide body support. The sloths descend from the canopy only once a week in order to urinate and defecate.

Behavior:

When it comes to social groups, Hoffman’s two-toed sloths are usually solitary animals. Occasionally females will feed in the same tree. Young will stay with their mother for about 9-12 months. They are exclusively nocturnal and are active for about 11 hours during the night. They usually change trees each night. Everything is done while hanging upside down. They eat, sleep, mate, and give birth while hanging upside down in the tree. Two-toed sloths are usually silent animals with the occasional hiss when they feel threatened. Infants will let out a few low-pitched signals when they are separated from their mothers.

Diet:

Hoffman’s two-toed sloths are classified as herbivores and eat leaves, twigs, buds, and fruit. They usually forage at night. They have a slow metabolic rate and they are able to live on a small amount of nourishment.




Personal Experience:

While we were on our way from La Selva to Cahuita, Costa Rica, we stopped at the Sloth Sanctuary. While we were here we received some information on the lifestyles of both the two-toed and three-toed sloths. One night, while sitting outside in Cahuita, we witnessed a sloth climbing across the wooden overhang of the porch we were sitting on. It demonstrated its slow moving behavior and we could see the green tint to its fur.


References:

Gardner, Alfred (16 November 2005). Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). pp. 101.

Gilmore, D.P. et al. (2001). "Sloth biology: an update on their physiological ecology, behaviour and role as vectors of arthropods and arboviruses.". Brazilian Journal of Medical Biological Research 34 (1): 9–25

Two-toed Sloth, Choloepus didactylus & Choloepus hoffmanni
March 2009, San Diego Zoo, Global. http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/sloth/sloth.htm