Random Facts: Sloths

All sloths have three toes on each of their hind legs. Two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths differ in the number of fingers on their front limbs.

Three-toed sloths are called Bradypus (slowfooted), two-toed are Choloepus (lame-footed).

Until 10,000 years ago, South America had a big population of giant sloths the size of elephants.

The giant sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii is named after Thomas Jefferson, who delivered a paper on his study of its fossil bones in 1797. Jefferson thus became the only US President to have a sloth named after him.

Sloths generally come down from their trees only once a week or so to poo and pee.

The top speed of a sloth on the ground is only about 13ft per minute but they swim much faster.

Sloths in the wild sleep for about nine hours a day but they rest for much of the rest of the time.

When London Zoo sloth Marilyn had a baby in 2015, his sharp claws led to him being called Edward, after film character Edward Scissorhands.