Though sloth day has come and gone – mark it on your calendars for next year and take a look at some of the details about sloths – to me it points to being designed rather than evolved!
“Unite your family in celebration of International Sloth Day on October 20th!
There are six types of sloth, which are divided into groups based on how many toes they have: Two Toes or Three Toes–although this is not totally accurate. Both groups have three toes, but the “two-toed” sloth has two fingers. The two-toe and three-toe sloths have things in common, but also many differences. Hanging upside down for hours at a time is something they share. Eating, sleeping, mating, and even giving birth are upside down activities for the sloth! Interestingly, the three-toed sloth is awake during the day, while the two-toed sloth is awake at night. Another difference is the number of neck vertebrae (or bones). The two-toed sloth has six vertebrae, and the three-toed sloth has eight or nine, which allows him to turn his head 270 degrees.
Sloths sleep anywhere from 15-18 hours in a 24-hour period and gather food slowly during their waking hours. Sleeping 15-18 hours daily is a shared trait between the two-toed and three-toed sloth. Have you ever wondered why sloths move slow and sleep so much?…Sloths have a slow metabolism which is why they appear lazy… Sloths are classed as herbivores and their (mostly) leaf diet is poor in nutrients and calories, meaning low energy and lots of sleep. Sloths also have an unusual muscle structure. Although their muscle mass is 25-30% less than other mammals, most of this muscle mass is found in their upper body. Ask your children why upper body strength is necessary for the sloth (tree hanging). Interestingly, sloths are 3x stronger than humans! This upper body strength gives them tremendous grip strength, which allows them to be protected from predators. This unusual muscle structure also prevents sloths from shivering, which saves energy. The three-toed sloth also does not sweat, but the two-toed sloth sweats only from the tip of his nose!
~ Deanne Crawford (from an email newsletter for Rainbow Resource Center)”
Picture from: https://pixabay.com/photos/sloth-costa-rica-puerto-viejo-1879999/ accessed 11/22/22.