“lazy” (I prefer t energy-efficient )?adorable videos, and roles in commercials and films like Zootopia. But why are they so popular? Is it their cute faces with permanent smiles? Or their relatable
Iwas drawn to sloths because of their unusual behavior and ecology. There are two types of sloths two-fingered and three-fingered that diverged about 40 million years ago and display unique convergent evolution. Both sloth s have incredibly low metabolism, altered anatomy for efficient life in the canopy of trees, interesting bathroom habits , and a diverse array of microbes and arthropods living in their fur. have unique cracks in their hair that seem to aid in algal growth, giving the sloths a greenish c . historically thought of as a camouflage benefit for sloths a lack of evidence, fur benefit sloths in this way. Other scientists claim that there s a three-way mutualism between sloths, algae, and moths in their fur moths ay their eggs in sloth poop when the sloth descends to the base of a tree once a week to relieve itself then fly back up to a sloth and deposit nutrients on the sloth fur fuels algal growth he sloth benefits eat their algae but sloths don’t lick themselves or show any eating algae their fur
“greener” sloth mean a healthier sloth?determined to answer some of the lingering questions regarding the sloth hair microbiome. travel to Costa Rica to study brown-throated three-fingered and Hoffmann’s two-fingered sloths at The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica climb trees, ca sloths, and collect hair samples to begin to answer questions like algae also on the leaves of trees t may be eating? Does the composition of the hair microbiome change depending on the season ? oes a
Surecute and highly relatable, erhaps next time you see a sloth on your acebook feed or in a commercial, you appreciate them for their unique that make them true wonders of nature.