Endangered Species:Sloth

Christiansburg Elementary School
Submitted by: Lollipop,Grade:5

Grolier Zoo


Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

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 yours.
    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 extinction.

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 BookEncarta 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.

Habitat Requirements

    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, slowly.  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 more females.

Restoration Actions

    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 sloths.

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.



Sloth Link


left arrow Return to Mammal page.

If you would like to add to these Endangered Species
pages, then email your contributions to Christiansburg Elementary

© copyright 2000

Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on February 3, 2000