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There is a need to create pages for both the three-toed and two-toed sloths. I suggest that we move some info into there, or else play about with redirects. And like the person before me said:

What about Sloth, the deadly sin?

There's another issue. The sidebox lists the sloth as a member of the kingdom animalia. If you check most recent biology textbooks they will tell you that the Kingdoms system of classifications has been replaced by three divisions: eukarya, prokarya, and archaea. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

It looks like these two pages do exist, but they could use expanding. And they ought to have links in this article at the first mention.LRT24 (talk) 04:04, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Two-Toed And Three-Toed[edit]

Arrgghh! What's this with getting the two-toed sloths and the three-toed sloths mixed up? Wiwaxia 18:54, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Hey, doesn't it sound awkard with,qoute from text, "the blabla mammal became extinct when humans came to the North American continent" shouldn't it be like, settlers?-- 22:35, 22 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What do you mean, settlers? Colonists? Giant sloths were extinct long before Europeans showed up. I think the wording as-is is pretty decent. NTK 23:48, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I think he's making the point that humans were on the continent long before Europeans were. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 12 October 2013 (UTC)


Is it true a sloth would take 1 month to traverse a single mile?

Please remember to sign your posts by writing ~~~~ after your text.
The speed must be wrong: how can it take one minute to make 15-30 cm? I am trying to find this out (I guess it is "per second" instead of "per minute") Nahraana (talk) 21:19, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I browsed and found that "A sloth's average climbing speed is only 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) a minute. This may increase to as fast as 100 feet (30 meters) a minute if threatened or if a mother sloth and her child are separated." At, so the speed claimed in the article does not seem too unreal. I think we should add a reference though, so I added a {{fact}} template next to the statement. Federico Grigio, alias Nahraana (talk) 10:11, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

There is also a contradiction, "can move at a marginally higher speed if they are in immediate danger from a predator (4.5 m or 15 feet per minute)" and "On the ground their maximum speed is 1.5 m (5 feet) per minute" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:10, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

There is a recent revision to the speed of sloths but my issue here is which tree sloth is being cited here? There are differences between Bradypus and Choloepus but there is nothing indicating which speed posted belongs to which sloth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doc sloth (talkcontribs) 02:20, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

The contradiction got weirder. Right now it states that the sloth's maximum ground speed is over 7 times higher than the speed at which it moves when in immediate danger. Boksha (talk) 21:59, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

The above mentioned contradiction still stands in the text. The reference used cites several sources which give widely different speeds, the speed when in danger seems to be taken from Mysteries and Marvels of the Animal World while the speed on the ground is taken from Encyclopedia of Mammals. The latter does not specify if they are talking about ground speed or not and it does not specify the type of sloth, so the reference does not support the current wording. I am changing the text to use speeds from the Marvels of the Animal world since it contains both ground and tree speed and it is the only source that specifies which type of sloth it talks about. In general this part of the article really needs a better reference. ~Honn, 28 May 2010, 10.01 (UTC)


The Xenarthra and the Anteater page (which is how I drifted here) show sloths as order Xenarthra, not Pilosa, although they list the same families (mostly) below it. I don't know anything about this area, but there seems to be some confusion. PerlKnitter 16:20, 11 August 2005 (UTC) monkeys are faster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:21, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I thought sloths were Xantherans... 08:46, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The current Taxonomy and names section has incorrect language information. It should read: "The sloth's taxonomic suborder is Folivora, FORMERLY called Phyllophaga ("leaf-eater" in Greek)[cit] or Tardigrada ("slow-stepping" in Latin) [cit]. I can't speak to the tribal naming, but given the erroneous information on derivations as common as Latin and Greek I would hold the remaining linguistic information questionable until a suitable citation was added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Also: the phrase "Greek and Latin respectively," should be reversed. Folivora is Latin, Phyllophaga is Greek. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Goldenschauer (talkcontribs) 21:52, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Is it safe to assume...[edit]

Is it safe to assume that sloths are the least dangerous animals any human could ever encounter? Sure they have those claws but I imagine dodging a claw-swipe from one of these would as easy as Neo dodging a schoolbus. --I am not good at running 19:13, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Tim the Enchanter would probably dispute that. They are after all fierce beasts with giant claws that will rip you limb from limb. Terrible terrible beasts. Sabine's Sunbird 01:39, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Despite their extremely slow speed, I doubt you could claim they are the least dangerous animal. For example, if they fall on you or some such (I'm not sure if they're able to jump on things), you may not be able to avoid them and even though they may not cause major damage, I'm quite sure their claws would be havens for all sorts of nasties which could cause major damage if not properly treated. Or even if you were simply careless. I would have to say the least dangerous animal would probably be something like a hydra. Even if you restrict yourself to mammals say, I would probably go for something else. Maybe some sort of dog (one of those tiny ones)... (Okay joking with that but I still wouldn't choose a sloth). Nil Einne 18:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
A hydra? Where can I get me one of those?? :) LebanonChild 11:44, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat? Ucucha (talk) 20:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I hate to be blunt, but you don't know what you're talking about (yes I know some of you were joking). While the sloth doesn't move great distances at any high rate of speed, this isn't for lack of musculature. The slow metabolism of the sloth is the limiting factor. If threatened, however, they will lash out with their forelimbs. People have been seriously injured when they approached sloths on the ground and had their legs swiped at. I'm not saying that a sloth could sustain a fight, but in the wild a few swipes of those big claws is usually enough to prevent a real fight from developing. A sloth is not helpless. The sloth in Image:Sloth47.JPG was raised by hand since it was very young. Approaching a wild sloth could be dangerous for both parties. If it does expend enough energy to mess you up, it will be weakened and not be able to as easily defend itself from real predators. This is similar to the cheetah, which must rest for around half an hour after a predatory sprint before it can do much more than lay down or stumble around (at least, that's what I remember the National Geographic channel said). —WAvegetarianCONTRIBUTIONSTALK EMAIL 01:05, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, i've never heard of a human fatality by a sloth... Nor a wound by a sloth. Any records? I was once nibbled by a two-toed, but it was like a puppy suckling for milk...--sin-man 04:50, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeah. You know those prehistoric ground sloths like Megatherium? They can kill Smilodon with those long claws you know. Well, modern sloths are not as big as those ground sloths, but they still have those claws. They may be slow on everything, even digesting food, but I don't think they're slow with that swipe! So the statement that sloth claws are futile is quite bogus if you ask me. 07:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Family redirects[edit]

Agreed that it would be ideal if the individual families got their own pages, but there is no reason not to have a redirect in the meanwhile. A redirect in this case is useful, and this article gives much the same information that individual family articles would. As such, they ought to remain in place until such time as full articles are written. At the very least, this should be submitted to VfD, rather than simply speedily deleting on one person's say-so. john k 18:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Herbivore/Omnivore contradiction[edit]

The article contradicts itself about the sloth herbivore/omnivore status:

  • Sloths are herbivores, eating very little other than leaves.
  • Sloths are omnivores, and generally eat leaves

Sounds like they're omnivores, unless they eat fruit flies, lizards, and suchlike by accident and accidental consumption makes a difference, but I don't know enough about the precise definititions to make the call. SleekWeasel 17:08, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I am going to deem them omnivores as it's mention they eat some insects. This definition is from the omnivore page and states; "An omnivore (from Latin: omne all, everything; vorare to devour) is a species of animal who are "... generalized feeders, with neither carnivore nor herbivore specializations for acquiring or processing food, and who are capable of consuming and do consume both animal protein and vegetation."[1]

Omnivore is a species designation. Being an omnivorous species does not mean all animals in that species are required to eat both meat and plants. It also does not mean that the animals eat equal amounts of meat and plants."

^Making the required change now. Shaybear♥

Extinction of ground sloths[edit]

This article states:

Much evidence suggests that the extinction of the American megafauna, like that of Australia, far northern Asia, and New Zealand, resulted from human activity.

The statement implies that Australian, far northern Asian and New Zealand megafauna became extinct due to human activity, which has not been proven. Aleksei 07:21, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Well what is proven is not know, but humans would have made some contribution. There would also be other factors involved. Enlil Ninlil 04:09, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

The edit 20:00, 31 December 2006 (Talk) (→Extinct species - removed comparison to australia, megafauna extinction is highly contentious, particularly concerning kill sites), is by me. I wasn't signed in. I removed the mention of Australia because the issue is highly contentious, largely due to the lack of any discernible kill sites (Except for possibly one, Cuddie Springs. Aggelophoros 10:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


Do sloths make noise at all? I really need an answer to this!! Please help. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Creamegg (talkcontribs) . Loud screeching, constantly. Never stops.


Hello, I was researching sloths and saw that someone fooled around with the text- "Josh Scott rules." Maybe someone should fix this. Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I shall fix it, but you can, too. We're all editors here. - UtherSRG (talk) 11:55, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Merging Xenarthra.Org Sloth Content with Wikipedia[edit]

A thought...

I don't know who who reads this talk page, but please have pitty with a newbie. I'm the webmaster of Xenarthra.Org, which contains large amounts of information on sloths. I'd like to merge my work (which I spent months slaving over) with Wikipedia's information. The trouble is that I'm not at all hip to how Wikipedia works. Comments / Feedback? 22:38, 26 January 2007 (UTC) Sloth I ( /

You best bet is to start by registering to have an account. All info you add should be sourced from some work other than your own. - UtherSRG (talk) 23:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


All information on Xenarthra.Org is from either 1) Published documents [found in the misc/bib/ page] or from suggestions I acquired from experts in the field (predominantly the author of SlothWorld and professors at the University of Michigan). Where possible, I can attempt to link text to the originating work; many of them are unfortunately no longer in my possession. More good news is that all charts and pictures on Xenarthra.Org have been acquired with full use on my part; I can pass them onto Wikipedia in the public domain.

Where do we start?

SlothWerks 00:43, 27 January 2007 (UTC) SlothWerks

You should definitely put a note on the site (EG. Link to a "copyright.html" or something) and explain your stance on copyrights, but be sure to include a note that any contributions from the site to WikipediA are acceptable and you don't mind them being released as GFDL (Note that if you're copyright is already PD, GFDL or similar you can just leave it at that, or maybe include a note). 00:59, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Sloth Mammal Information Discussion[edit]

This is the author of Xenarthra.Org again. I'd like to begin open discussions to merge the research from my website with that of Wikipedia. Would the logical method be me making suggestions and simply correcting / adding information for which I have references? Anyone may feel free to email me directly at I'm very new at this. I also suspect it's going to take awhile to go through all of my text. (Another expert in the field of sloth anthropology recommended fixing misleading info on the ground sloth page as well.) 12:09, 13 February 2007 (UTC) SlothWerks

Just correct and add information as you see fit - only use the Talk pages for things you are unsure about or would like to dispute or get feedback on. If you have referenced info about sloths, and clearly you have heaps, just add it in, creating new sections and sub-sections as you see fit. This is Wikipedia - where the reader = author = editor; power to the people; etc. etc. Keep things as well referenced as possible, of course - best way to do this is to find references that are around already and imitate how they're done (look particularly for references that create footnotes - WikiMedia has a great system for this). --DreamsReign 05:59, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Relative Speed[edit]

The main Sloth page says the two-toed sloths move slightly faster, but the Bradypodidae page says that the three-toed sloth moves faster. One is wrong!...which one? Hyperionred 14:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Hrm... good question. Looks like it needs to be researched.... - UtherSRG (talk) 14:47, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, this article was correct. I've fixed (and sourced) the three-toed sloth page. - UtherSRG (talk) 14:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Life expectancy[edit]

How long do these marvelous creatures live for, or is their expected life-span? Daily Rubbings 18:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

DIFF PERSON: I wonder about that too, im young and doing a little report thing on sloths :P, but i still need to know this stuff -laugh-. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Hanging "without effort"[edit]

I shall remove the statement to the effect that sloths hang without effort using their claws. Goffart, in his book on sloths, explains that this is a fallacy, unfortunately repeated by Sir David Attenborough in the Life of Mammals documentary series. In fact, sloths have powerful suspensory muscles and use energy when clinging to branches. See this discussion: (talk) 11:15, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Goffart is somewhat correct about the suspensory muscles, but Mendel's work in the 1980's describes the adaptations in the sloth arms and wrists that allows them to hang via their claws using very little exertion. In essence, its similar to the way humans can lock the knees to stand for extended periods without taxing the muscles. The discussion article sites one of Mendel's many contributions to the climbing adaptations of sloths (1985) but misses the point about the overall importance of these structures together to create an efficient complex for hanging. As such, the statement stays. Doc Sloth (talk) 12:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


The unusual position of their internal organs, and the unique number of vertebrae (for mammals) are two things that should be included in this article.--Design (talk) 09:08, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

If you can cite a verifiable and reliable source, then please add this information. - UtherSRG (talk) 09:21, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Douglas Adams asserts that baby sloths will occasionally mistake their own arm for a branch, leading to them falling out of trees. This is a passing comment in an essay (see The Salmon of Doubt). Is there a more scientific source for this? -- (talk) 12:59, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Pls, tell me----

Is it true that sloth could die of stavation with plenty food in it stomach since it metabolism process is very slow? 4rm Newman. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Relationship to primates[edit]

Could we add a sentence or two somewhere about the relationship (or, I presume, lack thereof) of sloths to primates? As a total layman, I had assumed that sloths were some kind of ape until I actually looked at the taxonomy. Might be worth elaborating upon. Oconnor663 (talk) 18:40, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Not really. There's no real reason just to focus on a sloth's relationship to primates. They're clearly very distantly related, even more so than primates are to rodents.-- (talk) 16:38, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Minor edit note[edit]

The final sentence of the Classification section was "Sloths are known to have very long necks." which seemed to have nothing to do with classification. I moved it to the discussion of necks in the final paragraph on physiology, though I suspect the sentence is better deleted or at the least properly referenced. - aamp —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. - UtherSRG (talk) 05:10, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Link to Aviarios del Caribe[edit]

The link currently points to but should probably be pointing to

Done Thanks, Celestra (talk) 00:03, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Facts to include[edit]

From the programme on Animal Planet about sloths 'Meet the Sloths' we learn that: - The additional vertebrae in the neck of the sloth give it the ability to have its body 'upside down' (or legs up) and its head right side up. This aids in maneuverability around impediments. - Despite its slow speed, the sloth is agile and graceful when maneuvering in trees and vines, able to adjust climbing styles based on conditions including gripping slippery materials limbs. - Female three-toed sloths let out a cry when in heat that can be heard by males up to 700m away. When males hear this, they will go to great lengths to reach the female and claim her - including traversing open spaces and engaging in combat with rival males. - Little is known on the mating rituals or copulation styles of the sloths, but the mating that has been witnessed was relatively fast, lasting approx. 5 seconds. - Sloth young learn safe plant life from their mothers, and without this tuition, will eat anything that is placed in front of them. - The ability to climb is not instinctual in sloths and is taught by their mothers. - Buttercup at the Aviarios del Caribe holds the record for sloth to survive longest in captivity - over 20 years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:47, 6 March 2012 (UTC) sloths only urinate about once a week due to there slow digestive system. they also will not use the bathroom from the tree theyre in they get down and usually have a speciific place on the ground

- I was reading an article in NYT this morning that talked about some recent findings on why sloths engage in the risky behavior of climbing down to the ground - where they are most vulnerable to predators - to urinate and defecate. I think it should be included in the main article in the physiology section sixth paragraph. Link is given below. — Preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|Srini vizag (talk) 17:47, 28 January 2014 (UTC)]] comment added by Srini vizag (talkcontribs) 17:45, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Physiology correction/edit[edit]

Since the page is locked, I'm unable to make the edit myself, but in the "Physiology" section, I'd like to request/suggest changing the word "recently" (here bolded) to "In 2008" or similar, since "recently" is pretty ambiguous.

The section in question: "It had been thought that sloths were among the most somnolent animals, sleeping from 15 to 18 hours each day. Recently, however, Dr. Neil Rattenborg and his colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany, published a study testing sloth sleep-patterns in the wild; this is the first study of its kind. The study indicated that sloths sleep just under 10 hours a day.[8]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Where Are They Found[edit]

I have been wandering where are they found? Please some one edit a answer after this and yes i realise i could use google but I came here 1st so please some one answer'''Bold text'Italic text'' — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nickienana (talkcontribs) 08:20, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

The bacteria in their fur statement does not have the correct citations.[edit]

The comment about how sloths have bacteria in their fur which helps with their camouflage uses citations which make no mention of this. Therefore, I recommend the two sentences about the bacteria be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hak8or (talkcontribs) 21:14, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 May 2014[edit]

This sentence has multiple grammatical errors, switching from singular to plural randomly.

"While the sloth defecates, female moths that otherwise live on a sloth will get off and immediately lay her eggs directly on the fecal matter, on which the larvae survive until they each, in turn, mature to an adult and are able to fly onto a sloth."

Please change "lay her eggs" to "lay their eggs" and "they each, in turn, mature to an adult and are able to fly onto a sloth" to "they mature to adulthood and are able to fly onto sloths." Or you could change the plurals to singulars, but it would be a little more awkward. (talk) 13:27, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thank you for your contribution to Wikipedia! Mz7 (talk) 19:15, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Possible Improvements[edit]

1. The Evolution portion states that two- and three-toed sloths are a great example of convergent or parallel evolution, but it doesn’t really describe any of the traits that make them appear similar. They share traits such as bipedalism, an arboreal lifestyle, and mode of locomotion. 2. The Evolution portion states that two- and three-toed sloths are a great example of convergent or parallel evolution, but it doesn’t really describe any of the traits that indicate their separate paths of evolution. Physical qualities such as bone structures in the skull, jaw, and hyoid arch indicate that the extant species of sloths, the two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths, split up to 40 million years ago. 3. Add a fact to convey how little is truly understood about the phylogenetic relationships between different types of extant and extinct sloths. Though data has been collected on over 33 different species of sloths just by analyzing bone structures, many of the relationships between clades on a phylogenetic tree are unknown

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Boor.17 (talkcontribs) 02:51, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Do Sloths Live in North America[edit]

In an avocado tree outside my home in North Oakland, there one night was a sloth in plain view of my living room window. This must be uncommon. But is it unheard of? He appeared healthy and strong. Penfellow (talk) 04:37, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 October 2015[edit]

I wan`t to edit the article to change a few minor mistakes in Grammar.

Eat food every day (talk) 18:32, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This is not the right page to request additional user rights.
If you want to suggest a grammar change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please note - it is "want" not "wan't" . - Arjayay (talk) 18:41, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Request link to Megatherium article[edit]

Please add a link to the Megatherium-article ( where this species is referenced to under "Extinctions".

Sloths appeared earlier[edit]

Its says in the article that the suborder of folivora includes ground sloths. Well, the page about ground sloths says that they appeared in the late Eocene and this page says early Oligocene. If all ground sloths are part of folivora, members of folivora must have originated in the late Eocene. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lolothegeneral (talk) 15:10, 6 March 2016 (UTC) Lolothegeneral (talkcontribs) 15:04, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

little amendment on latin and greek origin of words[edit]

ORIGINAL: The sloth's taxonomic suborder is Folivora, sometimes also called Phyllophaga (Owen, 1842) or Tardigrada (Latham and Davies, 1795). The first two names both mean "leaf-eaters"; derived from Greek and Latin, respectively.

SHOULD BE CORRECTED AS: The sloth's taxonomic suborder is Folivora, sometimes also called Phyllophaga (Owen, 1842) or Tardigrada (Latham and Davies, 1795). The first two names both mean "leaf-eaters"; derived from Latin and Greek, respectively.

COMMENT: "Folivora" is Latin. "Phyllophaga" is Greek. "Tardigrada" is for sure not Greek.

Anastasia Pseiridis — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:10, 9 June 2016 (UTC)