SlothPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Life Upside Down

Sloths are arboreal mammals noted for their slowness of movement. With their perpetually-smiling faces, they spend most of their lives hanging upside down in the trees of the tropical rainforests of South America and Central America. There, they charm tourists and photographers alike.

The sloth is so named because of its very low metabolism and deliberate movements. However strange this may seem, their slowness is an evolutionary adaptation. Firstly, the slowness allows them to get by on their low-energy diet of leaves. Additionally, moving slowly also helps them avoid detection by predatory hawks and cats who hunt by sight.

Despite being almost helpless on the ground, these animals are able to swim. The grooved hairs of their shaggy coat is a host to symbiotic green algae which helps the animal camouflage itself in the trees. Moreover, the green algae provides nutrients. In turn, the algae feeds sloth moths, some of which only live on these delightful, upside down creatures.

Explore with Cornforth Images.