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  • Sloths And Chameleons

    Sloths are mostly known for their lazy behavior that consists of eating, hanging and sleeping in trees. Most of the time they are not seen doing ‘noteworthy’ actions but contrary to what many people may think, sloths do have something interesting about them even if all they do is sleep and eat. While cheetahs are the fastest mammals on earth and chameleons can blend into the background, sloths have an interesting ecosystem nestled within their fur. Insects, bacteria and other organisms all live in the outer layer of the sloth’s fur and perform different tasks that can benefit both the sloth and themselves. While algae is able to find efficient shelter in the fur, it also provides benefits to the sloth by causing the fur to turn green and serving as camouflage when faced with hungry predators. Moths live in the neighborhood as well and lay eggs. When a moth dies, it decays and provides the algae and sloth with nutrients when consumed. Not only do the sloth’s ‘renters’ protect from predators and provide nutrients, but they also can protect the sloth from diseases and other fungi not beneficial to the sloth; one beneficial fungus can even ward off malaria carrying mosquitos. It might be hard to picture a small little world buried in a lot of fur, but it exists and is livelier than we may think. In my term paper, I will discuss some of the relationships taking place in sloth fur and provide reasoning if they beneficial or not. Then, I will look how scientists are studying…

    Words: 2377 - Pages: 10
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