Bocas Shorts #4: Two-toed Sloth Commute

Sloth CommuteAfter its nap, the two-toed Sloth start crawling up higher, looking for branches that connected, and using the palm leaves to get to the power line.  At least that’s what we thought, that he was planning on going across the power line, because we have seen this species use the wire as a way to get access to to some of the trees where they feed near the main building or just to move from one patch of forest to another, but…

In the end the sloth had something different in mind.  He successfully accessed the power line and then went on to the next palm tree.  Why? We are not sure, but we chose to move away and let it make its way alone.  A few minutes later I went back to look for it and could not find it.

Surprise Close By

A while ago, I was walking to my nursery, and I had a really nice encounter. Moving along the electricity wire was a Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), behind one of the cabins, next to the main building.

I ran and called the kids, some of them came and we stayed behind some trees and watched “the traveler.”   What a surprise, we saw that this guy wasn´t really going too far, it had a plan, and we got to see it.  He got in between the two electrical wires and just stayed there like he was in hammock and took a nap!!!
Sloth Panama

After the nap we saw it moving along the electricity wire again.  This time he made his way, closer to the main building, to another spot, for another nap.
Wildlife Panama

On the Tranquilo Bay grounds, we can see both the Two-toed and Three-toed Sloths. Three-toed Sloths (Bradypus variegarus) are more common.  Also, Three-toed Sloth are  mostly active during the day which makes them easier to find. This particular find was very special because Two-toed Sloths are mostly nocturnal, but the nocturnal habits are not always a rule, as you can see in these pictures.
Panama Two-toed Sloth

Caught in Motion

Wildlife Panama

Months ago, while we were birding with a group on the mainland, I “caught” this Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) walking down a tree in mainland.  It was a nice find, because this hairy creature does not spend much time active during the day.

Two-toed Sloth are nocturnal, but of course that does not mean that if they want to move around or feel like is time for a snack they are not going to do it.  Actually this furry, friendly guy, moved for us and ate in front of us.  He was absolutely not concerned about our presence which made it a great moment to get some pictures.

The reason I chose this picture in particular, is because it shows the way the species moves.  Two-toed Sloths move in a different way, when they are going down the tree, they always go with their head first (head down), where their close relative, the three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus), always goes up and down the tree with its head up.

Two-toed sloth 2012

Panama Wildlife Viewing

These sloth have only two toes on their forefeet.  Like the other sloths, they have three toes on the hind feet.  These two-toed sloth have a body length of between 58 and 70 centimeters.  The snout is more prominent than that of the three-toed sloth.  The two-toed sloth’s fur is longer and they do not have a tail.

Two-toed sloths have a gestation period of six months to a year depending upon the exact species.  The mother gives birth to one baby, while hanging up-side down.  The young are weaned after about a month, but it stays with its mom for several more months.  Females reach sexual maturity around three years old and males between four and five years old.

Two-toes sloths are mostly nocturnal animals that spend a large part of their lives hanging up-side down.  They tend to be more active than three-toed sloths.  The two-toed sloth prefers to descend with its head first.

Two-toed sloth

These sloths eat primarily vegetation but they do eat some small rodents.  They have large stomachs with multiple chambers to help aid in the digestion of plant matter that they eat.  Food can take up to a month to digest.

Content from Wikipedia.