It's appropriate that I should be writing about the unau, otherwise known as the two toed sloth today, because I can't be bothered to write an A to Z challenge post. Last night I dreamed the challenge had returned to A and we were stuck in a Groundhog day kind of scenario in which we never got to escape.
On sunny afternoons there would be few things better than hanging from a tree all afternoon; well lying on a hammock would be considerably better. Ideally with a steady supply of cocktails.
Although similar to the somewhat smaller and generally slower moving three-toed sloths, there is not a very close relationship between two-toed sloths and three toed sloths.
You don't need to be Sir David Attenborough to realize the two-toed sloth received its name because it has two toes - at least on its front feet.
The unau are also larger than three-toed sloths. Other distinguishing features include a more prominent snout, longer fur, and the absence of a tail.
Sloths, Wikipedia points out "move only when necessary and even they very slowly; they have about a quarter as much muscle tissue as other animals of similar weight."
Any likenesses to that woman down at City Hall who waddles slowly between disgruntled customers muttering to herself, is purely coincidental. Sloths are Xenarthra, that include anteaters and armadillos. The earliest xenarthrans had fused pelvises, stubby teeth and small brains. Matters don't seem to have improved much since.
Generally sloths don't do much and certainly very little of any interest. It is commonly believed they sleep 15 to 18 hours a day but a recent German study in which a group of rather serious Germans stood under trees and counted how long they sleep, indicated sloths sleep just under 10 hours a day.
The Bible doesn't seem very keen on the qualities displayed by the sloth. Proverbs says. "The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor."
However, your average sloth seems not to give a rats about this dire prediction.
Sloths hang out in South America. Given that up to two thirds of an amply fed sloth's body weight consists of its stomach contents, the digestive process can take a month to complete. Sloths have been known to continue hanging on trees, even when they are dead.
Time for a well earned nap, I am thinking.
Useless Fact About the Unau Sloth
Sloths only urinate or defecate once a week. More than that would get in the way of hanging out time. They go to the ground to spend a penny, making them vulnerable to predators.
What Not To Say to a Sloth
Want to go for a run?