Sloths are mammals classified in the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, including six extant species.
Mammals are any vertebrates within the class Mammalia, a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles and birds by the possession of a neocortex, hair, three middle ear bones and mammary glands.
Megalonychidae is a group of sloths including the extinct Megalonyx and the living two toed sloths.
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank.
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They are named after the capital sin of sloth because they seem slow and lazy at first glance; however, their usual idleness is due to metabolic adaptations for conserving energy.
In biology, an adaptation, also called an adaptive trait, is a trait with a current functional role in the life of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection.
Sloth vs Sloth! by Brave Wilderness
Aside from their surprising speed during emergency flights from predators, other notable traits of sloths include their strong body and their ability to host symbiotic algae on their furs.
Algae is an informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic organisms which are not necessarily closely related, thus are polyphyletic.
They are classified in the order Pilosa because they are related to anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws.
Anteater is a common name for the four extant mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua commonly known for eating ants and termites.
The order Pilosa is a group of placental mammals, extant today only in the Americas.
Extinct sloth species include many megafaunal ground sloths, some of which attained the size of elephants, as well as a few species of marine sloths.
In terrestrial zoology, megafauna are large or giant animals.
Extant sloths are medium-sized arboreal residents of the jungles of Central and South America.
South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere.
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees.
Sloths make good habitats for other organisms, and a single sloth may be home to moths, beetles, cockroaches, fungi, ciliates, and algae.
The ciliates are a group of protozoans characterized by the presence of hair-like organelles called cilia, which are identical in structure to eukaryotic flagella, but are in general shorter and present in much larger numbers, with a different undulating pattern than flagella.
A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes unicellular microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as multicellular fungi that produce familiar fruiting forms known as mushrooms.