The sloth is an animal that has grown in popularity, thanks to the internet, of course. You have probably seen at least one clever sloth meme in your time – Modern culture has definitely made this creature into somewhat of a superstar. Here at Slothino, we branded our casino with such a character for multiple reasons; we want to bring awareness to both the declining sloth species and the ongoing deforestation of the rainforest, while also starting the trend of eco-conscious casino brands. You can find out more behind our brand story in the Adventures of Slothino, but this post is all about interesting sloth facts that the memes don’t tell you about…
1: A Smile is Worth 1,000 Feelings
Have you ever wondered why sloths always look like they’re smiling? Aside from the obvious fact that they may be, well, happy – there’s more to it than that. Despite how the sloth may be really feeling, their facial structure is built as if there’s a literal constant smile on their face. We’re sure many of us wish we could have the same! Could this be why sloths also seem to never age?! Well, that’s another story. A tidbit we could take from this, from an eco perspective: During wildlife tours, when folks are taking selfies (often much too closely) with sloths, they could actually be very anxious, sad or angry – so keep that in mind. Perhaps the expression ‘resting sloth face’ will be a ‘thing’ in 2021? Let’s see!
2: Forever Young?
Women around the globe may start getting just a bit jealous of our sloth friends; no one really knows how old they can age to! Given that the sloth species as a whole is very difficult, if not impossible, to study in the wild, no complete study has ever been done from birth to death. It is also virtually impossible to tell the age of an adult sloth. Of course, you could measure this by the sloth lifespan in zoos – the oldest living sloth to date is Paula, 50 years old, located in a German zoo. While zoo authorities claim sloths would live longer in captivity opposed to in the wild, that is yet to be known.
3: Not Just One… But Six?!
So, here are some solid sloth facts for you. While there are two different types of sloths, two-toed and three-toed, did you know there are actually six sloth species, in total?
Naturally, they all share similarities but also, differences. The Pygmy three-toed sloth is the smallest of the three-toed sloths. The Maned sloth can be found only in Brazil. The Pale-throated sloth is especially introverted, hanging/sleeping for up to 18 hours a day(!) The Brown-throated sloth is the most common of all six species. The Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth is known to be the slowest of them all! And lastly, the Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, who is named after the German naturalist Karl Hoffmann. It is notable to mention, the pygmy sloth is critically endangered and the maned sloth is vulnerable.
(Did you know that Slothino has 10 types of VIP sloths?!)
4: Do You Like Avocados?
Just like sloths, avocados have become very popular in today’s culture. Giant ground sloths, which are now extinct, could easily eat and process the massive avocado seeds whole. Given how much the Megatherium i.e. ground sloths loved avocados, they were a big part in helping this hipster fruit reproduce in the rainforests, as they scattered the seeds naturally. This could very well be why avocados are so common today! While it is thought that there were over 80 types of giant sloths back then, the six sloth species we know today all evolved from the ground sloth.
5: Blinded by the (Day) Light?
You may already know that sloths are nocturnal animals, but do you know why? Sloths have a very rare condition called rod monochromacy, completely ridding them of having any cone cells. This makes sloths not only colour-blind, but they also cannot see anything at all in bright daylight (only slightly in dim lighting). That said, sloths have an amazing sense of smell and spatial memory, compensating for their lack of sight. As you may connect, the lack of sight contributes to how slow they are known to be – which makes a lot of sense.
6: Faster Than You Think?
As we just mentioned – Sloths are known to be slow. But are they always? Sure, sloths definitely spend their fair share of time sleeping and hanging out in trees – but they are also amazing swimmers! Not only are they great swimmers, but they can move 3x faster in water than on the ground. Why? Well, the three-toed sloths have two more neck vertebrae than any other mammal in the world. Having such, they can turn their heads up to 270° and therefore keep their head above water when swimming.
7: Now You See Them… Now You Don’t!
So, we know that sloths are slow and definitely not considered a predator to other rainforest wildlife (except avocados). As such, you can imagine there are many predators who would love to feast on a meaty sloth. But, sloths are incredibly well equipped to camouflage themselves! Given that many forms of algae, bacteria and insects grow and live within their fur, taking shelter and water, the algae gives back by helping the sloth to camouflage itself from predators.
8: Vegan Sloths?
It seems more and more like sloths are the hipsters of the rainforest! Jokes aside, did you know that sloths eat basically a vegan diet? Leave, shoots, plant buds and other greenery make up their diet, which can actually take up to 30 days for them to digest! This is thanks to their multi-compartment stomach. However, when in dire need, sloths have been known to eat birds and insects… but only in special circumstances.
9: The True Meaning Behind ‘Hasselhoff Sloth’
Brace yourself for this one… Did you know sloths are three times stronger than the average human? It’s true! This is due to their unique and specialised muscle arrangement – the unique-to-character tendons in their hands and feet lock strongly into place, which is why they can also hang for such a long period of time. It is said that their strength is so mighty that they are strong enough to withstand a jaguar. This is where we got the inspiration of the Hasselhoff VIP sloth, by the way!
10: A Sloth’s Perspective
As we just mentioned, sloths can hang upside down for extremely long periods of time thanks to their impressive biology. In fact, sloths spend around 90% of their lives just hanging in trees. You may wonder if this affects their breathing – but since their organs attach to their rib cage, hanging upside down had no effect on their breathing whatsoever.
While these are certainly some interesting sloth facts, there are many more we haven’t uncovered… yet. As we’re just kicking off the Slothino casino blog, you can look forward to plenty more interesting reads about sloths, the rainforest and of course, the sloth-tastic Slothino bonuses and promotions we have in-store for you. Did you like this post, did you learn something new? Then please feel free to share the sloth vibes using the below Share bar!