The Two-toed Sloth of Costa Rica
The Two-toed Sloth is also known as Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth. This name came from Doctor and naturalist Karl Hoffman who immigrated to Costa Rica in 1853.
The Two-toed Sloth is found in lowland tropical forests, montane and pre-montane forests and deciduous forests from Eastern Honduras to parts of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. When looking for them in Costa Rica, check Peñas Blancas National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, Cahuita National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park.
Mating & Reproduction
Female Two-toed Sloths begin courtship by licking a male’s face. She also rubs genitals against his body, and like everything with sloths gestation is very slow at 355 to 377 days. Newborns are born on the ground, or with the mother hanging from a tree. Often they will hang from a tree limb while other sloths make sure the newborn doesn’t fall.
Young sloths cling to their mother’s belly, and make loud calls if separated from them. They begin taking solid food at 15 to 27 days.
Sloths typically eat leaves, fruit and flowers. The majority of their diet is leaves. Sloths have special teeth that constantly grow, a unique saliva system to process cellulose and a three chambered stomach all contributing to their digestion and slow lifestyle. They are arboreal and nocturnal, and sleep for upwards of fifteen hours a day in vines and on tree limbs.
Two-toed Sloths are preyed upon by jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles, margays and anacondas, but their inactive can be counted as a defense mechanism in that they seldom are found outside of the llianas vines where they sleep.
Two-toed Sloths move so slowly through the forest they actually develop algae on their fur. Its toes are also so strong that dead sloths have been found still hanging from the tree where they expired.
Where to see it in Costa Rica:Peñas Blancas National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, Cahuita National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park
Diet: fruit, flowers, tree leaves
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: lowland tropical forest, montane & pre-montane forest, deciduous forest
Size: length=54-72 cm weight=2.1-9 kg tail=1.5-3 cm
Species: Choloepus hoffmanni