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How 2-Toed Sloths Are Different From 3-Toed Sloths

When most of us hear “sloth,” we think of a 3-toed sloth — a creature with a funny muzzle that is a symbol of slowness. But aside from 3-toes sloths, there are 2-toes sloths that look somewhat different.

5-Minute Crafts found out how to tell a 2-toed sloth from a 3-toed one.

  • 2-toed sloths are bigger and have longer fur. They have bare faces with a big nose and no tail (there is a tail vertebra inside the body). These sloths have 2 toes on their front feet and 3 on their rear feet.
  • Aside from 3 toes on the front feet, 3-toed sloths have some thick fur on their face and dark spots around their eyes that go down their neck. These sloths have short tails and relatively small noses. The rear paws are much shorter than their front paws.
  • 2-toed sloths only have 5 neck vertebrae, and 3-toed sloths have 9 vertebrae. This allows them to swivel their heads 270 degrees around.
  • 2-toed sloths are active at night and during the day, and they rest on the treetops. 3-toed sloths are usually active only during the day.
  • 3-toed sloths only eat leaves, buds, and young sprouts, and the diet of a 2-toed sloth is more diverse. Aside from plants, they eat insects, small lizards, and bird eggs.
  • 3-toed sloths are slower and less active than 2-toed ones. Scientists found that they have a metabolic rate that is the lowest ever recorded for any mammal in the world.
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