International Sloth Day is held every year on 20 October. The good news is that you don’t have to rush to celebrate these slow-moving mammals. Instead, wander around and learn about these interesting mammals native to South and Central America. There are two different types of sloths. These include two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. There are six kinds of sloths. One of them is the dwarf three-toed sloth. Among all species, the pygmy sloth is the only one that is endangered.
History of International Sloth Day
International Sloth Day was created in 2010 by the Aiunau Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to work on wildlife and conservation, headquartered in Colombia. After celebrating the first international conference on the well-being and protection of sloths in Medellin, Colombia, they created International Sloth Day. It aims to solve problems such as sloths being violently taken from their mothers, abused, and then sold on the open market. Poaching and unnecessary slaughter of sloths, as well as deforestation, are putting their continued survival at risk.
Observing International Sloth Day
Since the purpose of this holiday is to raise awareness about sloths, this is a good day to do just that. People can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalSlothDay. People can also take the time to learn more about sloths and what can be done to ensure their continued survival. It’s also a good day to donate to one of the many wildlife agencies that work to protect these slow-moving mammals.
Some Interesting Facts in International Sloth Day
There are two-toed and three-toed sloths. However, this can be confusing because both types of hind limbs have three claws or “toes.” In fact, the “two-toed” sloth should be called the “two-finger” sloth because the difference between them can be found on the forelimbs.
Modern sloths are usually about the same size as medium-sized dogs. But the old sloths from many years ago, known as “giant sloths”, can grow as big as Asian elephants! These giant sloths sometimes have a small pelvis area, which can be used as a protective “armor plate”. They have gone about ten thousand years ago.
Sloths have a special relationship with the algae growing on their fur. Although sloths provide shelter and water for algae (because sloth fur is highly absorbent), algae provide sloths with camouflage and provide additional nutrients through their skin.
Sloth’s impressive biology makes it hang upside down 90% of its life. Studies have shown that this is possible because their organs are attached to the chest cavity, which means they do not press on the lungs. This means that, unlike us, a sloth can hang upside down without affecting its breathing.
The sloth normally eats buds, leaves, and young shoots, although some sloths are known to eat insects and birds to supplement their diet. They have a multi-compartment stomach that can effectively digest the tough cellulose they eat. It turns out that this is a slow process, and it takes 30 days to digest a leaf!
Look at you
Sloths have an extra vertebra at the bottom of their necks, which allows them to turn their heads on a 270° axis. This allowed them to obtain an almost 360° view of the surrounding environment, which proved to be a very useful defense mechanism. This special ability separates sloths from other mammals whose bone structure does not allow this unique flexibility.
Make the length
Although sloths have long claws and it is difficult to walk on land, they can move three times faster when swimming-which is surprising for such a typical slow-moving character! They can also hold their breath for up to 40 minutes, inhibit their metabolism, and make their heart rate reach one-third of their normal speed.
The sloth’s nature allows it to conserve energy and move more slowly than any other mammal on the planet. This moderate pace means that sloths usually do not exceed 125 feet (38 meters) a day. In rare cases, they find themselves on the ground and can only climb 1 foot (30 cm) per minute.
The Greek goddess Aergia was the incarnation of ancient laziness and often slept. The sleep pattern of modern sloths depends on their habitat. Captive sloths sleep as long as 15-20 hours a day, while wild sloths sleep as much as humans, about 8-9 hours a day.
The sloth’s facial structure makes it seem to be smiling all the time—even if it is experiencing pain, stress, or anxiety. When sloths are used as photo props for self-portraits of wild animals, visitors may accidentally confuse this function with happiness or satisfaction.