Christiansburg Elementary School
Submitted by: Lollipop,Grade:5
Why Study This Topic?
What I want to find out about this animal is where
it lives. Maybe someday, when I grow up, I will build a refuge for
a sloth - if they are still alive.
My interest in this animal is that it spends
most of its life hanging upside down in a tree, and it only gets down if
it wants a drink of water. Humans should help this animal by not
poaching. The government did their job. Now you need to do
A sloth is an exciting animal to see, and people
don't want to destroy it. Someday, I want my children do see this
animal - not just my children, but all children and parents.
I hope humans can save this animal, if you would help.
A sloth is not the only animal that needs your
help, but also alligators in Florida, panthers, rhinoceros, sea turtles,
and more. Some animals are extinct, but let's save these endangered
species, and let's not kill anymore animals.
What Was Already Known
Before I searched for this
animal, I knew that it was part of the monkey family. I also
knew it spends time hanging in trees. I know this animal lives in
South America, because it is a South American sloth. I think
this animal is endangered. I don't know for sure, but I think its
because of its fur. I read somewhere that no one knows, so I am just
guessing. Somewhere else, I read that the reason for its endangerment
makes it hard to protect the sloth. Did you know that the three-toed
sloth lives about 12 years in the wild? In human age that would be
78-years old. I hope people can save this magnificent animal from
Search for Information
There are many places I looked to find information
about the sloth. I went to the Internet and found a lot about it.
There are certain places I looked such as sprint.com, Searchasaurus,
Yahoo, World Book, Encarta Encyclopedia and Groliers
Encyclopedia. I didn't find much information about the sloth
on Yahooligans. I did look more places, but those were the
best sites to get information on my animal.
Description of Plant or Animal
The sloth has long gray or brown hair that blends
in with its surroundings. A grown sloth can grow up to about two
feet, but when a baby is born the baby is about the size of your thumb.
A two-toed sloth weighs about seven to 25 pounds, and a three-toed sloth
weighs about 7 to 10 lbs. The body hair on the sloth is a grayish-brown
color, but the faces are darker in color. The sloth's claws
can grow about three to four inches long. The sloth has peglike teeth.
These animals are strange, because they hardly have any tails or ears,
and their noses are blunt. A two-toed sloth is called unau and
a three-toed sloth is called ai.
The sloth eats leaves and buds. Sometimes it
will also eat twigs, fruits, and small prey. The sloth doesn't drink,
but gets its water from juicy leaves and licking dew drops. For shelter,
the sloth uses trees, because it spends most of its time in the trees.
The sloth doesn't touch the ground, but only once each week. When
the sloth is in the trees, it moves by grabbing onto limbs one at a time,
I would think that a sloth would need a lot of space, because it eats leaves,
buds, twigs, fruits, and they all come from trees. It also needs
space to raise its young.
The sloth defends itself by it's sharp claws and
also their camouflage.Camouflage is their main source of protection.They
have this long hair that blends in with its surroundings.A sloth has some
predators like snakes,harpies and other large birds,jaguars and ocelots.I
know the sloth has more predators then that,but those are the only ones
I know.The sloth also likes to climb.Thats why they have long arms.Also
the sloth gives birth when they are upside down in the tree.
Reasons for Endangerment
The sloths life history are females have one single
young after a 12 month gestation.Usually female sloths gather in
group as the males are by themselves.
The sloth usually stays in the wild 12 to 20
yrs.The sloth sometimes lives alone because a sloth and another sloth will
fight.The reason for it's endangerment is unknown so it makes it hard to
protect them.Ground sloths are extinct groups of sloths and they are related
to the tree sloth.Also females outrun males 11 to 1 so that means the're
Well the government is making laws of not to go out
in the woodlands and other places and poach.Also the government are also
protecting it by puting them in zoos so people can donate money to build
a refuge.When they get that money that is what they will do with it.The
sloths are hard to protect because we don't know why it's endangered.Maybe
someday my children will see this fasnating animal.I know they are slow
but they are still interesting to watch.My idea of this animal saving this
animal is building a refuge,maybe someday I can build a refuge for the
What Was Learned
I learned that the sloth hangs upside down
most of its life. It also gives birth upside down. The problem
for this animal is that we don't no why it is endangered. Because
of their upside down life, their organs are placed in different areas of
their bodies than other mammals.
The sloth also can't see very well, but it has
a good sense of smell and touch. The sloth isn't very big.
It is probably 2-feet long. I also learned that the sloth lives less
than 12 years in the wild.
Conclusions From Research
It was very hard researching this animal, because
I knew nothing about it. I never knew there were two-toed sloths and three-toed
sloths. What I think humans should do to save this animal is to quit poaching
and try to raise money to build refuges. That is what I am going
to do. Some other things to save a sloth is to stop cutting down trees.
When people cut down trees, they are not just hurting the trees, but also
destroying this animal's home. Plus the sloth lives there, and they get
their food from trees. Let's save the sloth. This is my first research
on an animal, and now I know how to do research.
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Last updated on February 3, 2000