The world of two-toed sloths (genus Choloepus) is made up of two species, which are southern two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus) and Hoffmann's two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni). In classic sloth fashion, individuals of both species live in trees. The sluggish creatures lead independent lives, and because of that are rarely seen alongside others.
The two species of two-toed sloths don't have the exact same geographic scopes. Southern two-toed sloths are rather plentiful in their home grounds, which include nations such as Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, Peru and French Guiana. Hoffmann's two-toed sloths are common too, with presences in both South and Central America, specifically in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras, Panama, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia. Both varieties of sloths occasionally live in the same areas, sometimes in western regions of the Amazon rain forest.
Southern Two-Toed Sloth Habitat
Two-toed sloths in general gravitate to warm and muggy locales, often in cloud forests. Southern two-toed sloths are tree-dwellers who reside in damp forests, both in low-lying regions and amidst mountains. These nocturnal creatures are usually tucked away high up in their tree homes, inconspicuous and almost totally devoid of movement. Typical foods for these sloths are tiny twigs, foliage, fruit and berries. They even munch on insects and eggs every so often.
Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth Habitat
Hoffmann's two-toed sloths inhabit similar tropical rain forest habitats. While they commonly live in rain forests of increased altitudes, they're also frequently seen in more low-lying landscapes, as well. Hoffmann's two-toed sloths occasionally live in grassy, shrubby settings with trees, too. They rarely descend from their trees. Sleeping in trees is a big activity for them. It's commonplace for them to sleep for anywhere between 15 and 20 hours within a single day. Food staples for these sloths are flowers, fruit, shoots, buds and foliage.
If you're ever passing through a tropical rain forest, the odds of spotting one of these elusive mammals probably aren't too high thanks to their arboreal patterns. Knowing what they look like is key to accurately identifying them, however. Southern two-toed sloths typically weigh somewhere between 12 and 20 pounds, and Hoffmann's two-toed sloths usually are in the ballpark of 8 to 20 pounds. Southern two-toed sloths are usually between 24 and 30 inches long, while their Hoffmann's counterparts are generally in the realm of 24 to 25 inches. Their coats are usually grayish-brown, although Hoffman's two-toed sloths are the paler ones. In line with their name, their front feet feature pairs of clawed toes.
- National Geographic: Two-Toed Sloth
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Two-Toed Sloth
- San Diego Zoo Animals: Two-Toed Sloth
- SeaWorld Animal Bytes: Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Choloepus Hoffmanni
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Choloepus Didactylus
- Bristol Zoo: Two-Toed Sloth
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Choloepus Hoffmanni
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Choloepus Didactylus
- National Aquarium: Linne's Two-Toed Sloth
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images