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Picture by Sakina Hoosen, MD. Feb 2006.

Three-toed Sloth

The Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is a a species of sloth from Central and South America. Sloths have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal browsing lifestyle. Leaves, their main food source, provide very little energy or nutrition and do not digest easily: sloths have very large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the tough leaves. Sloths may also eat insects and small lizards and carrion. As much as two thirds of a well-fed sloth's body-weight consists of the contents of its stomach, and the digestive process can take as long as a month or more to complete. Even so, leaves provide little energy, and sloths deal with this by a range of economy measures: they have very low metabolic rates (less than half of that expected for a creature of their size), and maintain low body temperatures when active (30 to 34 degrees Celsius), and still lower temperatures when resting. (From: Wikipedia, 2006.) See Lodge information and prices.
 
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Heliconia Costa Rica sunset Three-toed Sloth Toucan on branch Sunrise