Sloth Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Sloth
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Superorder: Xenarthra
  • Order: Pilosa
  • Suborder: Folivora
  • Families: Bradypodidae and Choloepodidae

17 Sloth Facts for Kids

  1. A sloth is a tree dwelling mammal that is a member of the Folivora order.
  2. Sloths are known for their slow movements and hanging motionless from trees.
  3. Sloths move slow due to their very slow metabolism and have a very low energy diet.
  4. Sloths can be found in the rainforests of Central and South America.
  5. The two-toed sloth species are omnivores and have a diet of fruits, leaves, insects and some small reptiles.
  6. The three-toed sloth species are herbivores and feed exclusively on the leaves of only a few trees.
  7. The average weight of a sloth is between 7.9 and 17 pounds but can vary by species.
  8. The average length of a sloth is between 24 and 31 inches but can vary by species.
  9. A sloth can live on average between 10 and 16 years.
  10. Sloths can see in color and have the ability hear, but their visual and hearing acuity are poor. Sloths depend on their sense of touch and smell to locate food.
  11. There is a total of six living species of sloths between two different families.
  12. The six living species of sloths are divided into two groups, the two-toed sloths and the three-toed sloths.
  13. There are two living species of two-toed sloths and they belong to the Choloepodidae family and the Choloepus genus.
  14. There are four living species of three-toed sloths and they belong to the Bradypodidae family and the Bradypus genus.
  15. The two living two-toed sloth species are the Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) and the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni).
  16. The four living three-toed sloth species are the Brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), the Maned three-toed sloth (Bradypus torquatus), the Pale-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) and the Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus).
  17. It’s estimated that the extinct ancestors of sloths were the size of an elephant, like the Megatherium.

Additional Resources about the Sloth