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.