How can they triple their speed while chasing you? When do they hunt? And why does it seem like they have eyes in the back of their heads?
Step 1: Look up
Sloths are smart, cool-headed creatures. They move with such stealth that algae grows on their fur, tailoring their appearance with a natural layer of green camouflage. If you become distracted in the jungle, you could be walking toward your death. Since sloths spend almost their entire lives in treetops, you’ll need to look up, carefully, all the time. A hungry sloth may be lurking just above your head.
Step 2: Don’t go out at night
Sloths may not be as lazy as some people think. Captive sloths can sleep up to 20 hours a day. But recently, German scientists studied the brainwaves in Panamanian jungle sloths and found that they sleep only 9.5 hours a day. So, to be safe, stay alert for 14.5 hours a day, and never go out at night since that’s when they hunt. You wouldn’t want to get trapped in their feeding frenzy. Supposedly, they only eat plants. But don’t risk confronting a voracious sloth. They can eat so much that 30% of their weight is the meal they’re digesting. And it can take them a month to digest some foods.
Step 3: Stay out of the water
On land, a sloth may not be as fast as a cheetah. They can walk about 38 m (125 ft) in a day, but you don’t want to jump into the water with one of these merciless creatures. With their mighty arms, which are even longer than their legs, sloths are swimming machines. They’ll hunt you down at the feverish pace of 110 m ( 360 ft) a day. Their extremely slow metabolisms allow sloths to hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Good luck escaping that. You’d be better off avoiding the water altogether.
Step 4: Stay out of sight
As if all that wasn’t enough, sloths have an extra vertebra that allows them to move their head at a 270-degree angle. You might think you’re hiding behind its back, but it’s still able to spot you. And once a sloth looks at you, my friend, you’re trapped. It can stay still for hours, monitoring your every movement with its round and happy-looking eyes. And no, it won’t get bored anytime soon. You’ll need to stay out of sight all the time unless you want to get caught in an awkward staring match.
Step 5: Stop deforestation
Some species of sloths are endangered due to their habitat’s deforestation. Without abundant, healthy trees, sloths won’t have the shelter and food sources they need to survive. And what would they do then? Do you want them crawling into your house? Or hunting for plants in your garden? Scratching your furniture with their massive claws? Sleeping for 20 hours a day on your sofa? If you want to avoid that nightmare, we need to fight deforestation now.
- “8 Awesome Things You Didn’T Know About Sloths”. Brantley Newton. 2021. The Dodo.
- “All About Tigers – Physical Characteristics | Seaworld Parks & Entertainment”. 2021. seaworld.org.
- “Two-Toed Sloth | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants”. 2021. animals.sandiegozoo.org.
- “World’s Oldest Known Sloth Dies Of Old Age”. Sarah, Gibbens. 2021. Animals.
- “Three-Toed Sloths | National Geographic”. 2021. Animals.
- “10 Things You Probably Didn’T Know About Sloths”. Gallagher, Danny. 2013. Thefw.