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Sloths: Dinner

Sloth Bones and Teeth

"Sloth Eating Upside-Down" by Andrew Mason;
used with permission under CC BY 2.0

A sloth's most common dinner is made up of mostly leaves. However, since leaves do not provide very much energy or nutrition, sloths must have very big stomachs.

A sloth's stomach is especially good at breaking down the many parts of leaves in a very slow process. Sloths take so incredibly long to digest their food that the food in an average sloth's stomach will make up about two-thirds of its body weight. That's not all: a sloth's stomach can actually take up to a month to fully digest dinner. It is safe to say that a sloth is slow in more ways that one!

Sometimes sloths will eat insects and small lizards, but most often, they are too slow to eat anything that moves faster than a leaf stuck to a tree *hehe*. Although, a sloth's easiest source of dinner comes from a very unexpected place...its own fur!

The outer fur of a sloth is usually brown, but sometimes a sloth will appear to be more green, which means that a bacteria has begun to grow on our slow moving friends. In turn, a sloth will lick this bacteria off as a quick nutritional meal!

Yum?