Sloths Research Paper

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There were several kinds of giant sloths in South America in the Pleistocene era around 500,000 years ago, and living alongside them were giant armadillos like the glyptodonts. They were as big as rhinoceroses, with armour-plating fitted so tightly together that they looked like huge tortoises. All of these giants were edentata, an order of animals which has evolved into today’s sloths, armadillos and anteaters of South America. Edentata literally means without teeth. The anteaters, which catch their food with long, sticky tongues, are the only ones which do not have any. Armadillos can have up to 100, while sloths have a few simple pegs. These are not enamelled but constantly grow as they wear away.

While living sloths are strange enough, their extinct ancestors were even more remarkable. Existing sloths are all small, tree dwelling creatures weighing no more than 13 pounds
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The six living species of sloths are occasionally reported to display a greenish discoloration of their pelage. Trichophilus welckeri, a green algal species first described more than a century ago, is widely believed to discolor the animal's fur and provide the sloth with effective camouflage. However, this phenomenon has not been explored in any detail and there is little evidence to substantiate this widely held opinion.

One of the relatives of the modern sloth is the two toed sloth. Having an extremely slow metabolism, two-toed sloths can take up to a week to digest a meal. A cool trait they have is they only need to descend from the trees once every 5-7 days to urinate and defecate. Another one of the modern sloth species is the three toed sloth. They grow algae on their coat for camouflage and they have longer arms than legs. They cannot walk but they are good swimmers. One really cool trait is that they have three extra cervical vertebrae which allow them to turn their head

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