Interestingly enough, the two-toed sloth actually has three toes on its feet! A more accurate name for this creature would be the “two-fingered sloth,” because they have two fingers on their front two limbs, which are more akin to arms with hands rather than legs with feet.
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Superrder - Xenarthra
Order - Pilosa
Family – Megalonychidae
Genus - Choloepus
Species – C. didactylus, C. hoffmanni
Common Names - Hoffman's Two-Toed Sloth, Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
Docile, friendly, and quite slow, the two-toed sloth can be found hanging upside down from trees in South and Central America.
Female sloths lick the male's face to show interest. Baby sloths gestate in the womb for about a year, and birthing is done either on the ground or hanging from trees. In captive settings, other sloths will position themselves below a mother to catch a baby that may fall during the birthing process.
Like most sloths, the Hoffman's two-toed sloth is extremely slow and spends almost all of its time up in the trees. They hang from branches with their large hook-like claws. In fact, the family name (Megalonychidae) means "great claw". The sloth's slow moving nature is a way for it to compensate for its low energy diet.
While you might think a sloth’s super slow speed is a disadvantage when it comes to surviving in the wild, it actually allows them to survive on extremely low-energy diets. Also, because sloths move so slowly, they rarely attract attention from predators and can blend into the tree canopy where they spend most of their time. Despite their adorable appearance and gentle temperament, sloths do not make greats pets and are instead best observed with our scientifically true-to-life figurines!
Hoffman's two-toed sloth is rarely encountered by people, so reliable data is difficult to come by. While it is a species of "Least Concern", it's likely that habitat destruction is having a negative effect on the sloth's population.