Two-toed sloth eating a red apple with one claw while hanging upside down.

Two-toed sloth

What's the hurry?
giant panda


Map highlighting Central America
Central America
Endangered Status



21 to 29
inches in length
The average bed is 75 inches long.
Two-toed sloth

Leaves, stems, buds, fruit

and cloud forests
rainforest habitat leaves


Two-toed sloth hanging upside down by its rear feet and left claw on a branch

Upside-down view

The two-toed sloth, a nocturnal animal that lives in trees in Central and South America, lives at its own pace—a slow one! Using its long, sharp claws, the sloth makes its way through the branches hanging upside down. What a funny view!

Two-toed sloth laying on a gravelly ground with a yellow leaf in the foreground.

The water's fine!

A sloth's claws are handy for hanging onto tree branches but make walking on the ground hard. But sloths are great swimmers and can drop from a tree into a river to swim across it while doing the breaststroke! When sleeping, sloths often curl up in a ball in the fork of a tree.

A blog-haired sloth eating leaves off of a small branch that it is holding in its claw

Special stomachs

The reason sloths move so slowly has a lot to do with what they eat: a variety of leaves, stems, buds, and some fruit. This kind of diet requires a special digestive system. Sloths have a large, four-chambered stomach, like a cow.

The next time someone tells you to hurry up, just say you're taking your time—just like a sloth!