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Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth
Photo Information
Copyright: Selen Ediger (SelenE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-30
Categories: Mammals, Rain Forest
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Fauna of NEOTROPIC (Central & South America) Reg. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-09 13:06
Viewed: 7831
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth crossing from one tree to another- That was a looonng process!

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth
Bradypus variegatus

*Tree-dwelling mammal noted for its slowness of movement. All five living species are limited to the lowland tropical forests of South and Central America, where they can be found high in the forest canopy sunning, resting, or feeding on leaves. Although two-toed sloths (family Megalonychidae) are capable of climbing and positioning themselves vertically, they spend almost all of their time hanging horizontally, using their large hooklike extremities to move along branches and vines. Three-toed sloths (family Bradypodidae) move in the same way but often sit in the forks of trees rather than hanging from branches.

Sloths have long legs, stumpy tails, and rounded heads with inconspicuous ears. Although they possess colour vision, sloths’ eyesight and hearing are not very acute; orientation is mainly by touch. The limbs are adapted for suspending the body rather than supporting it. As a result, sloths are completely helpless on the ground unless there is something to grasp. Even then, they are able only to drag themselves along with their claws. They are surprisingly good swimmers. Generally nocturnal, sloths are solitary and are aggressive toward others of the same sex.

Sloths have large multichambered stomachs and an ability to tolerate strong chemicals from the foliage they eat. The leafy food is digested slowly; a fermenting meal may take up to a week to process. The stomach is constantly filled, its contents making up about 30 percent of the sloth’s weight. Sloths descend to the ground at approximately six-day intervals to urinate and defecate (see Sidebar: A moving habitat). Physiologically, sloths are heterothermic—that is, they have imperfect control over their body temperature. Normally ranging between 25 and 35 °C (77 and 95 °F), body temperature may drop to as low as 20 °C (68 °F). At this temperature the animals become torpid. Although heterothermicity makes sloths very sensitive to temperature change, they have thick skin and are able to withstand severe injuries.

All sloths were formerly classified in the same family (Bradypodidae), but two-toed sloths have been found to be so different from three-toed sloths that they are now classified in a separate family (Megalonychidae).

Three-toed sloths
The three-toed sloth (family Bradypodidae) is also called the ai in Latin America owing to the high-pitched cry it produces when agitated. All three species belong to the same genus, Bradypus, and the coloration of their short facial hair bestows them with a perpetually smiling expression. The brown-throated three-toed sloth (B. variegatus) occurs in Central and South America from Honduras to northern Argentina; the pale-throated three-toed sloth (B. tridactylus) is found in northern South America; the maned sloth (B. torquatus) is restricted to the small Atlantic forest of southeastern Brazil.

Although most mammals have seven neck vertebrae, three-toed sloths have eight or nine, which permits them to turn their heads through a 270° arc. The teeth are simple pegs, and the upper front pair are smaller than the others; incisor and true canine teeth are lacking. Adults weigh only about 4 kg (8.8 pounds). The head and body length of three-toed sloths averages 58 cm (23 inches), and the tail is short, round, and movable. The forelimbs are 50 percent longer than the hind limbs; all four feet have three long, curved sharp claws. Sloths’ coloration makes them difficult to spot, even though they are very common in some areas. The outer layer of shaggy long hair is pale brown to gray and covers a short, dense coat of black-and-white underfur. The outer hairs have many cracks, perhaps caused by the algae living there. The algae give the animals a greenish tinge, especially during the rainy season. Sexes look alike in the maned sloth, but in the other species males have a large patch (speculum) in the middle of the back that lacks overhair, thus revealing the black dorsal stripe and bordering white underfur, which is sometimes stained yellow to orange. The maned sloth gets its name from the long black hair on the back of its head and neck.

Three-toed sloths, although mainly nocturnal, may be active day or night but spend only about 10 percent of their time moving at all. They sleep either perched in the fork of a tree or hanging from a branch, with all four feet bunched together and the head tucked in on the chest. In this posture the sloth resembles a clump of dead leaves, so inconspicuous that it was once thought these animals ate only the leaves of cecropia trees because in other trees it went undetected. Research has since shown that they eat the foliage of a wide variety of other trees and vines. Locating food by touch and smell, the sloth feeds by hooking a branch with its claws and pulling it to its mouth. Sloths’ slow movements and mainly nocturnal habits generally do not attract the attention of predators such as jaguars and harpy eagles. Normally, three-toed sloths are silent and docile, but if disturbed they can strike out furiously with the sharp foreclaws.

Reproduction is seasonal in the brown- and pale-throated species; the maned sloth may breed throughout the year. A single young is born after less than six months’ gestation. Newborn sloths cling to the mother’s abdomen and remain with the mother until at least five months of age. Three-toed sloths are so difficult to maintain in captivity that little is known about their breeding behaviour and other aspects of their life history.

*Medium-sized (body length 60cm); pale brown and gray but takes on distinctive green tinge during the rainy season, when algae and fungi grow on its hair; flat, black and white masked face and hooked claws.

Restricted to moist lowland forests or moist riverine forest in drier areas. Most easily seen in open Cecropia forests along rivers; a docile and non-aggressive species active during the day.

Region: Amazon lowlands,Tropical dry forest

*Traveller's Wildlife Guides- Peru
by David L. Pearson and Les Beletsky

Jamesp, nglen, fiyo, gracious, maurydv, Juyona, vanderschelden, ramthakur, dB_grafix, eng55, egeerhan, red45, zulfu, boreocypriensis, pekkavalo1, goldyrs, Amadeo, rousettus, JORAPAVI, uleko, meyerd, xTauruSx has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-07-09 13:08]

Hi Selen

Great pose - it looks quite energetic - whenever I have seen them they have just been hanging in a tree. Good eye contact and detail.


  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-07-09 13:18]

Çok hareketli bir anında :) çok güzel yaklamaışsınız. Tebrikler Selen hanım.

Merhaba Selen,
Very good closeness on this captured of Sloth!
looks like the long hands really a advantage for them to grab branches to go over from tree to tree!
good sharpness and great details
well done

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-07-09 13:22]

Hello Selen,
wondeful picture of this sloth. That are very interesting and strange animals. POV is great. Wonderful shot. Great work.

Regards Siggi

Spettacolare momento di cattura, eccellenti POV e composizione che esaltano la dinamica dell'azione, ottima nitidezza. Wondeful picture. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-07-09 15:50]

Hola Selen,
interesante y original captura,
buen pov y nota.
saludos amiga.

Hello Selen,
...a looong note as well:-)(but very good)
Wonderful image!
Annick(with a short critique:)

Whew, what an ungainly looking creature, Selen!
Nevertheless, it is a matter worth rejoicing that they are still alive and kicking (must take ages to deliver one kick!)on our planet.
Your picture sets my ignorance right; I was under the impression that all sloth bears were extinct.
Thanks for posting this picture because I have seen a sloth bear for the first time through your picture. It is a great image that shows the creature in its natural habitat and "doing" something!

The big stretch!If you waited for this to happen, then you really got the prize. Even the branches flow with his body. Very good Selen.
Enjoy the day.

Nice shot. You have captured a great posture. The oustretched limbs of the sloth look interesting.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-07-10 1:06]

Merhaba Selen hanım,
Sanki ağacın bir parçası gibi duruyor.Netlik,bakış açısı ve kompozisyon mükemmel olmuş.Tebrikler,ellerinize sağlık!

ilginç bir pozisyonda yakalamışsın eline saglık selen.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-10 11:18]

Hi Selen. What a great capture of this Sloth. It looks like its just hanging there. good detail in the coat. with natural colours. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-07-10 11:43]

Hi Selen!

Fantastic creature well known from tv documentaries. Good pose, composition with trees and low POV. You're really fast to capture this animal :-)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-07-10 13:50]

Hello Selen!
This is a great photo of this very sloooow Sloth :-)
Great pose that looks very awkward for the Sloth!
Sharp with good detail.
Well exposed too.

Nice work!


  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-07-10 14:22]

Selam Selen hanım, tembel hayvanın çok güzel bir anını göstern güzel bir kare. Elinize sağlık.

Selam Selen Hanım, olduça enfes bir tembel hayvan çekimi. Havadki hareketi nefis bir şekilde detaylardan kaybetmeden yakamışsınız. Elinize sağlık.

  • goldyrs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 974 W: 51 N: 2913] (11497)
  • [2008-07-10 19:36]

Hi! Selen,
I was watching this programme on Discovery where an eagle eats this three toed sloth!It actually flew off with it!
I really love this shot, you've captured movement here, and since these are so slothful, it becomes even easier to picturise the movement!

Hi Selenium.
Beautiful Sloth. Great oneself draw out . Great pleasure be make picture such animals. Super sharpness.
I greet Robert.

A superb image of this animal. Good colours and sharpness.
Best wishes,

Merhaba Selen, this is really a strange creature, unusual capture on TN, splendid bradypus in great pose, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hola Selen, buena fotografia, el movimiento del Perezoso de rama en rama lo has captado muy bien. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-07-11 11:12]

Merhaba Selen hanım nefis bir poz olmuş tam daldan dala geçerken ellerinize sağlık.

Tembelhayvanı orijinal mekan ve ortamında güzel bir kare ile görmek çok güzel. elinize sağlık Selen hanım. başarılı bir çalışma daha çıkartmışsınız. Muğladan selamlar.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-11 21:29]

Hello Selen

A beautiful capture of this three toed sloth.
A somewhat rarity here on TN.
Excellent pov and action.
The focus is sharp with lovely detail.


hello selen,
nice capture with good notes, i saw this animal on discovery channel for the first time,
you got a very good pose with perfect timing,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Selen,
This funny looking guy really has action going on. Very good capture with feeling of movement, excellent pose and composition, sharp details, good lighting. Excellent work!

Hola Selen,
Magnífica captura con una pose muy oportuna y dinámica, excelente POV, nitidez y detalles, gracias por compartirlo. Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-15 4:15]

Hello Selen,
What a life, just hanging about in a tree and doing nothing!! Excellent POV of this Sloth in beautiful light. Very sharp details, natural colours and it stands out nicely against the blue sky. Very well done!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-15 5:05]

Hi Selen,
Outstanding shot of this Sloth and it seems it is having a fun time there. Nice action and pose captured with immaculate sharpness and details. The blue sky acts as a fine backdrop. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hi Selen,
one of your truly fantastic shots, Selen, not only technically but also because of the type of animal, its posture. You can be proud on this one! The text that goes with it is much appreciated. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards

Selam Selen hanım, bu tembeli arada kaçırmışım:) nefis bir poz olmuş. Elinize sağlık.

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