Sunday, 21 February 2016

Brown Three-toed Sloth with Baby

18 January 2016
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

     For those of you who have read my trip report you will recall the Brown Three-toed Sloth Bradypus varigatus that we saw with a baby, but in the photographs I took I had managed to capture only the adult.
     When Miriam finished downloading and editing all her pictures she had indeed been able to include the baby in her shots.

     As I had mentioned the young sloth is pretty much a miniature of its parent and is well protected by a devoted mother.

     The green tinged fur derives from the algae that live inside the fur. Each hair is a hollow tube slit lengthwise, a structure that allows the algae access to the interior of the tube. Sloth moths that inhabit the fur keep algal growth in check by eating the algae.

     Sloths eat leaves, an extremely low-energy diet; hence the reason for their slow-moving life style.
      Strangely, the animal makes weekly visits to the forest floor to defecate. Why it would not simply poop in the tree to conserve energy is a bit of a mystery. A couple of theories have been postulated but there is no really satisfactory explanation.
      Any sighting of a sloth is just one of the highlights to be enjoyed on a visit to Central America.


  1. Oh, what beautiful animals !!! Mom and her baby look sweet !!
    Fantastic photos !!
    Greetings !

  2. Hi , really great pictures to your blog. Best regards.

  3. Wonderful photos of the sloths which I have never seen in reality!

  4. Hello David, sorry Im so late in visiting. I had three days off blogging last week, and I am now trying to catch up. I have never thought of Sloth's as cute, but your photos show otherwise. Such beautiful captures of endearing mother and baby moments,.. they look like they are smiling! I suspect the Sloth wants to keep his imediate surroundings clean,for what ever reson, and it was interesting to learn about the green tinge to the fur. Just had another look at them again,...they are truely adorable.:)

  5. They do have something special and always intrigued me. So I understand you are so happy to see this mom and her baby. Just so loveley.
    Hope all is well with you and Miriam.

  6. David,these are cute,first and last images are delightful.

  7. How cute!!! :)
    Beautiful photos of the family.. The little one is just perfect.. :)

  8. Hi David.

    Beautiful pictures.
    What cute sloth with her baby.

    Groettie frome Patricia.

  9. Beautiful pictures, Miriam. Thank you for sharing.
    Gr Jan W

  10. Didn't know that about sloth pooping habits, I learn something new every day!

  11. Hi David,
    These are the strangest creatures indeed with thiq algae growing in their hair, you both have taken great pictures!!
    Much love to share with Miriam :)

  12. My congratulations to Miriam for professional-quality images of this amazing species!

    I guess if mine was a totally vegetarian diet, and I was covered in long fur, I'd be extremely wary of attempting a poop whilst hanging upside down in a tree - moths or no moths to clean my fur afterwards!

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  13. Hello, great shots of the Sloth. They are cool critters. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  14. Fantastic and how exciting to see one of these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. Thanks so much for visiting. You asked about the Nene Goose. I found this short info page on them for you:

  15. Such strange creatures and wonderful shots. Well done and thanks for sharing. Diane

  16. Beautiful series Sloth David.
    Nice also to be able to photograph it.
    Greetings Tinie

  17. Wow, these are excellent images, Brown Three-toed Sloth is beautiful David.

  18. I thought I had put here a reaction but apparently it disappeared !! ?? These three toes are so fun to watch. The third picture is superb with the little one there.
    What will you have enjoyed this trip with David :-)

  19. this is all so interesting. thank you for sharing the details.
    i find them to be charming to look at. I wonder if perhaps they are an inspiration for some beings we see in art and animation? I have often thought of dark green leaves as a good source of protein, a good energy and easy to digest form of protein, if well chewed ;-)

  20. Awesome captures of these interesting animals! The baby is adorable.