Sloths are adorable and extremely lethargic mammals, that spend much of their day sleeping. But have you ever wondered why sloths are so slow?
Sloths have well and truly become one of the worlds most loved animals, especially after Flash the sloth' starring role in Disney's Zootopia. With their smiley faces and sleepy personalities they have truly won our hearts, but what are the reasons behind their lethargic nature?
In short, sloths have an extremely slow metabolism about 45% of that of an animal of similar size. They can take up to a month digest just one meal, now compare that with humans who take just one day. Sloths thrive on a diet of purely leaves in the rain forest canopies of Central and South America, the nutrients they get from their highly restricted diet means that they have less energy to burn, resulting in their slow demeanour.
Another factor to sloths slow movement is their lack of muscle mass. They have about half of similar sized animals and this is mainly found within their arms and torso. If a sloth has to venture out of the safety of a tree to the ground they will move even slower due to their muscle mass. However, sloths will tend to hang around in the comfort of their tree or trees and usually only visit the forest floor to 'use the bathroom' or perhaps find a mate.
A sloth on average sleeps between 15-18 hours a day, leaving little hours for much else. During a day a sloth will travel about 41 yards - which is less than half of a football pitch!