At Mums NI, we believe that education starts at home. We, as parents, are our children's Primary Educators. Together, we can inspire young minds and make learning fun!
In this Fun Facts Friday, we are looking at one of the slowest moving mammals on Earth, the Sloth. So get your little ones and settle down for this easy going fact finding mission.
We know that sloths are slow, but just how slow are they? What do they eat? Where do they live?
Lets find out . . .
Sloths are slow moving mammals that live in trees in the jungles of Central and South America.
Sloths are very slow at moving. On the ground they move at just 2m a minute. In the trees, they are a little bit quicker being able to move at just 3m a minute. That's not very far at all.
Why are sloths so slow? Well, sloths have got a four-part stomach that very slowly digests the tough leaves they eat. Sometimes, it can take up to a month for them to digest a meal which means a sloth has very little energy left to move around!
When it comes to food, sloths love eating tree buds, new shoots, fruit and leaves. Some of the two toed sloths will also feast on insects, birds and small reptiles.
All sloths have got 3 toes. The two-toed sloth actually has 3 toes and 2 fingers! Confusing or what?
Sloths have very long and extremely sharp claws which they use to hold on to trees. They are also used for protection against predators such as jaguars.
As sloths are so slow moving, they will quite often have other bugs living on them such as cockroaches and months. Algae and fungi will also grow on their fur giving them a green apperance. This is great camoflage against predators.
How often do you go to the toilet? Loads, right? Well, sloths only leave their tree where they live ONCE a week to go to the toilet. This is when they are most likely to be attacked by predators such as snakes, eagles and jaguars. Good thing that they've got those long claws and green tinted fur to help protect them.
Do you like to swim? Sloths are incredible swimmers. On land they are very slow moving, but in water they are 3 times more faster. They use their arms to doggy paddle in the water.
Sloths do like to sleep, although not as much as people think they do. It was thought that they slept between 15 - 20 hours a day. But it's been proven that they actually only sleep for up to 10 hours a day, just like you! They like to hang, upside down, from their trees while sleeping, holding on with their strong claws.
Ask your child to draw a Sloth in it's natural habitat.
Don't forget to send us a photo of their drawing, your child might just win their very own adorable sloth.