Do sloths have tails?

It’s hard to tell under all that shaggy, mossy, moth-riddled, upside-down growing fur, but lurking at the bottom of every sloth is a cute little tail!

Three toed sloth tails vs Two toed sloth tails

Our three fingered friends have short tails of about 6-7cm (about 2-3 inches). 

three toed sloth skeleton
Chris Dodds [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Two fingered sloths have even littler tails – they’re only 1.5cm – 3cm long (which is only up to just over an inch).

two toed sloth skeleton
By Cliff from I now live in Arlington, VA (Outside Washington DC), USA – Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)Uploaded by berichard, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7607021

Why do sloths have tails?

It’s not like they wag them when they’re happy, or swish them when they’re cross. They don’t even have the energy to use them to swat annoying insects away (not that they’d be much use – they’re too small!). So why do sloths have tails?

I have read that they use their tails to dig holes in the ground to poop. But I haven’t seen any evidence of that, and I wonder if it’s really true.

So perhaps it’s just a hangover from their giant sloth days. Sloths’ ancestors, the giant ground sloths, had massive tails (they had massive everything actually) and they used to use their tails kind of like a third leg – to prop them up like a tripod.

Sloths have obviously evolved very much away from the giant sloth – but maybe their little tails are just a reminder of their long distant past.

skeleton of giant sloth tail
Giant sloth tail

 

 


It’s beginning to look a sloth like Christmas. Time to put on your sloth Christmas sweater!

We all know that Christmas equals eggnog and mistletoe and cozy sloth Christmas sweaters.

The questions is: how many cheery Christmas sloths do you have hanging in your closet? Enough to wear a different one to each Christmas party you attend this year?? Oh dear, best buy yourself a few more to be on the safe side.

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Alex Stevens Slothy Christmas Ugly Christmas Sweater

Even the grouchiest of Christmas grinches will cheer up when they see this smiley sloth.

sloth ugly christmas sweater

Tipsy Elves Sloth Ugly Christmas Cardigan

We think this sloth is too cute to classify as an ugly Christmas sweater.

ugly christmas sweater sloth

Blizzard Bay Beer Pocket Sloth Christmas Sweater

This helpful sloth will even hold your beer for you.

beer pocket christmas sweater

Loveternal Christmas Sloth hoodie

All the ugliness of a Christmas sweater in hoodie format.

ugly christmas sloth hoodie sweater

Blizzard Bay Sloth Hug Christmas Sweater

Wrap your good self in a warm sloth hug every freaking festive season day.

sloth hug ugly christmas sweater

Uideazone Ugly Christmas Sloth Sweater

I don’t know about you, but I find this sloth a little creepy. But perhaps that’s the look you’re going for?

ugly christmas sweater with sloth hanging from candy cane

Loveternal Santa Sloth pullover

Cute smiley sloth in a Santa hat, on a hideous Christmas background. Excellent.

large sloth in a santa hat on christmas background

Blizzard Bay Sleepy Sloth Ugly Christmas sweater

This sloth knows how to do Christmas right.

sleepy sloth ugly christmas sweater

Sloth Christmas Wreath ugly sweater

The two toed sloth finally makes an appearance on this ugly sweater. It was worth the wait.

sloth wreath ugly christmas sweater

It’s beginning to look a sloth like Christmas sweatshirt

After something a little more subdued / not quite so ugly?


Nordic Runes Sloth Santa hoodie

Stand out from the ugly greens and reds with a cool scandi sloth.

nordic runes sloth santa hoodie

Now you can go to at least 11 parties this Christmas.

How to draw a sloth: 10 great step by step lessons

I think it’s a shame that by the time we reach adulthood, so many of us have convinced ourselves that we don’t know how to draw (or just can’t!). All it took was one slightly critical remark (which may not even have been intended that way) and we pack away our pencils for good and tell ourselves we just aren’t all that creative.

I am certainly guilty of this. I loved drawing as a kid, but somewhere along the line I decided that I just wasn’t good enough and forevermore announced to the world that I was lousy at drawing.

But now I have a daughter, and she’s awesome at drawing. And I see how much pleasure she gets from it. So I draw along with her. And I’ve remembered how fun it is. And I’ve also realized, that the more I do it, the better I get! It’s like anything! It just takes a bit of practice.

We are so lucky to have the world of YouTube at our fingertips. Talented artists from all over the world are sharing their skills with us. For free! Let’s take advantage of these awesome lessons that are available. Let’s learn how to draw sloths!!

Here are the best How To Draw Sloths lessons I’ve found so far. They suit a range of styles, ages and abilities. I’ve ordered  them from beginner to advanced. If one doesn’t suit you there are plenty of others to choose from. So let’s get drawing!

How to Draw A Sloth by Art for Kids Hub

Learn how to draw a sloth with Artimee

How to draw a cartoon sloth with Drawing How To Draw

How to draw a cute sloth by Easy Pictures to Draw

How to draw Zootopia sloth Flash Slothmore by Draw So Cute


How to draw a sloth by Doodle with Bella

How to draw a sloth cartoon by How2DrawAnimals

How to turn the word sloth into a cartoon by Jon Harris

How to draw a sloth with Shoo Rayner

Draw a baby sloth with Wendy’s Happy Art House

As always, we’d love to see your drawings so please post them in the comments below.

When you’ve finished drawing all those sloths, you might like to check out some of our other art and craft sloth posts – like sloth coloring pages!

sloth coloring pages

And follow Hanging with Sloths on Pinterest for even more sloth drawing lessons.

Don’t hurry, be happy! Relax with a great sloth coloring page (or maybe a whole book)

Feeling stressed? Friends and family have advised you to slow down, hang out, be slothful? Coloring in is a well known stress reliever, and what better subject to focus on, while you practice being mindful, than our beloved sloths?

Maybe you’ve just exhausted the selection of freebie sloth coloring pages on the internet. You’re serious about your sloth coloring in and are prepared to fork over the money to prove it.

Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves both coloring in and sloths – so a beautiful collection of sloth coloring in pictures presented in a good looking book is just the thing you’re after.

In any case, this selection of sloth coloring is the answer to all of your problems.

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A Million Sloths

Lulu Mayo has a delightful range of coloring books called A Million Creatures to Color Series, and A Million Sloths is her fifth book in this range. Find all sorts of whimsical, chubby sloths in this super cute book (along with a bunch of other fabulous creatures too).

lulu mayo a million sloths coloring page

Sloth coloring book for adults

This book has a variety of coloring styles to choose from. You get two copies of each image, so you can share with a friend or try out different colors. And you can also download a PDF to print your favorite pages as many times as you like!

adult coloring book of sloths

Sloth coloring for preschoolers

This is a book of very simple sloths – perfect for the little sloth lovers who aren’t ready for more detailed coloring yet.

sloth coloring for preschoolers

Sloths love llamas!

96 pages of sloth and llama love, plus stickers! Cute and quirky coloring pages for sloth loving kids, from preschoolers to elementary.

sloths love llamas coloring book

Not ready to commit to a whole book? Or is it that you can’t wait for that book to arrive in the mail – you need a sloth to color in NOW!

Maybe a one page printable sloth coloring page is better suited to you. Pick and choose from these instant downloads (or get them all!)

Baby sloths in the rainforest

These simple and cute little baby sloths will really stand out (or should that be hang out?) against the detailed background.

sloths in the rainforest printable download coloring page

Floral sloth 

This sloth is looking very pleased with herself in her floral crown. Simply download her and then color her in for hours.

sloth printable download pdf coloring page

Don’t hurry, be happy

This is a great selection of adult sloth coloring pictures for sloth appreciators. Filled with lazy sloths and their motivational quotes like “Just do it slowly” and “It’s ok to take a break” – messages we can all take heed of.

adult coloring sloth download pdf

Ok – it’s time to get coloring! Be sure to share pictures of your artwork in the comments below.

Top ten free sloth coloring pages

My little girl loves sloths. And she loves coloring. Hence, we have spent a lot of time searching the world wide interwebs for good pictures of sloths to color in. This has been quite time consuming, so we decided to save you all that hard work and compile our favorite sloth coloring pages right here.

We have a range of sloths here to suit all sloth-loving coloring-insters. Simple sloths, cartoon sloths, detailed sloths for advanced color-in-er-ers. They’re all here. Please click on the headings or the images to be taken through to the fabulous websites that provide these great sloth coloring activities. This will allow you to download and print the files in their full sizes.

We’d love to see some of your results. Please post your beautiful art works in the comments!

1. Sloth color by number by Woo! Jr

coloy by number sloth
Color by numbers sloth

2. Hidden object sloth activity page by Woo! Jr

sloth coloring in page
Find the hidden objects in this sloth activity page

3. Flower sloth coloring page by Daniel DeSosa

floral sloth coloring page
Flower Sloth Adult Coloring in page

4. Cute sloth coloring in page by Kids Academy

sloth coloring page for preschoolers
Cute little cartoon sloth

5. Two-toed sloth coloring in sheet by Honking Donkey

two toed sloth coloring in page
Two fingered sloth coloring page


6. Sloths love Llamas coloring in page by Crayola

sloth riding a llama coloring sheet
Sloths love llamas!

7. Trio of tree sloths – artist unknown

adult coloring sloths
Three sloths in a tree coloring sheet

8. Mommy and baby sloth by Thaneeya Mcardle

mother and baby sloth adult coloring sheet
Mommy and baby sloth coloring in page

9. Three toed sloth coloring in page by Super Coloring

three fingered sloth color in
Three toed sloth coloring in

10. Sloth claws coloring in page by Coloring Home

sloth and baby sloth coloring in page
Sloth and her baby – with a sloth claw closeup!

We hope you enjoy coloring in all of these beautiful sloths! If you still want more – check out this post about sloth coloring books and downloadable sloth coloring pages available for purchase from talented artists around the world.

And be sure to follow Hanging with Sloths on Pinterest where we share all the great coloring in pages we can find.

Happy coloring!

Sloth sounds – what noise does a sloth make?

Sloths are quiet types. They are usually silent, but if they are distressed or threatened, or looking for a mate – then they can make quite a noise!

Sloth distress call

This little baby sloth was lost and the Jaguar Rescue Center helped find Momma Sloth by playing baby’s calls over a loud speaker.

Sloth mating call

Female sloths become very loud when they are looking for a mate. Their screams travel well across the jungle canopy so the males can hear them and come to find them. Sloths are known as ‘Ai’ in certain areas, as that is the sound of their mating call.

Baby sloth sounds

Baby sloths make very cute little squeaks. But these are actually the calls the babies make when they have been separated from their moms or their favorite stuffed toy (if they’re a rescued orphan sloth, like the ones in this video)

Sleeping like a sloth – in your awesome sloth pajamas

Pajamas, pyjamas, PJs, jammies – no matter what you call them, they should always be covered in sloths.

Because sloths like to sleep. And you like to sleep. You like to sleep in your pajamas. And sloths like to sleep on your pajamas.

Now, we here at Hanging with Sloths understand that shopping around for the perfect sloth pajama takes up valuable sleeping time – so we’ve done all the work for you. Try to keep your eyes open long enough to click on the perfect sloth PJ for you, and soon you and your slumbering sloth buddies will be spectacularly soporific.

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Sloth pajamas for babies and kids

Summer sloth pajamas

Ranging in size from 3 months to 8 years, your kids’ summertime sleepwear situation is sorted with these delightfully colorful, organic cotton sloths. 

summer sloth kids pajamas

Christmas sloth pajamas

Set all the babies and toddlers in the family up for the perfect Christmas Eve photograph in their matching Christmas sloth pajamas.

little boy in blue christmas sloth pajamas

4 piece stripey sloth sleepwear

Kids can mix and match their sloths and bottoms to their sleepy heart’s delight with this super cute four piece set.

four piece sloth pajama set for children

DJ Sleep-E Sloth

Here’s a cute summer sloth pajama set for your little music lover.

DJ Sloth summer pajamas for kids

Cozy dreams (about sloths)

Another sweet four piece set with choice of long pants or shorts. 

sloth pajamas four piece set for girls

Sloth onesie

Your baby sloth will be extra adorable decked out in this pink sloth onesie.

pink sloths on baby onesie

Ninja sloth pajamas

We all know how stealthy sloths are. Just like ninjas. 

four piece ninja sloth pyjamas for kids

Sequin sloths

Kids will love this reversible sequin sloth and funky tie dye pants.

summer sloth pajama set for girls

Sloth life!

Happy Lazy Sleepy Party! Live the sloth life in your jammies and sloth sleep mask.

happy lazy sleepy party sloth pajama set for girls


Sloth pajamas for women

Sloth romper

This set is perfect for lazy summer days in your PJs.

sloth pajamas for women

Summer sloth sleepwear

Cute and bright shorts and tee pajama set.

summer sloth pyjamas for women

Slow in the morning sleepshirt

If you’re more of a nightie person, look no further than this one.

slow in the morning sloth night shirt

Sloth pajamas for men

Sloth nap

Perfect for pairing with some comfy pants for your slothful Sunday afternoon nap.

grey crewneck sweatshirt sloth nap

Am I slow?

The world is unnecessarily fast. Take pride in taking things slow like a sloth.

black and white sloth pyjamas for men

 

Now you’ve found your sloth pajamas you can sleep soundly knowing that you are covered in the cutest sleep experts in the world.

 

Sloth information books: Great books full of sloth facts

Does your child have a school report to write about sloths and needs to find out all the facts and information that they can so that they can get the best grades ever? Well, these books should help make the report writing process easier. Filled with great pictures and lots of very interesting sloth facts, they will help your child to become a sloth expert in no time!

Perhaps you’re a teacher looking for books to support your unit on sloths or rainforests. You’ll find a range of books here to support learning for all ages.

This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support!Sloth information books for younger readers

Sloth information books for younger readers (Preschool –  Grade 2 )

Animals that Live in the Rain Forest: Sloths

Sweet little book of facts about sloths for young readers. Perfect for a classroom studying the rainforest. And check out that grin on the front cover.

My first animal library: Sloths

Preschoolers and early elementary students can learn about the day in the life of a sloth (hint: it’s not action packed). This book isn’t overflowing with facts – it just has some simple information which might be enough to get younger students interested and reading for themselves.

Swing, Sloth!

Despite the title and the cover photo, this book is not exclusively about sloths. In it you will find beautiful pictures (as you would expect from National Geographic) and some basic text about a variety of different rainforest animals. Great for an introduction to the rainforest for younger students.

Slow, Slow Sloths

This book’s aimed at grade levels 1 and 2.

Elementary Explorers: Sloths

Great for a school project, or a book for the classroom library, or just for the personal collection of any fact loving 7 year old.

DK Sloths

This chapter book from the DK Readers series is aimed at students who are beginning to read by themselves. It has cute pictures and fun facts about why sloths are so slow, what makes them good swimmers and why they look so happy all the time!

DK Readers Level 2 Sloths book

Sloth information books for Elementary school

Sloths (Nature’s Children)

Aimed at readers aged 8-10, this book provides plenty of great facts about sloths. What do they eat, how do they raise their babies, what happens when they come down to the ground? Perfect for a school report about sloths.

Sharks vs Sloths

This is an engaging way to help reluctant readers learn more about both sloths and sharks. An epic battle between the two seemingly very different species will help us to decide who has the coolest hangout, the weirdest relatives, the best smile and the biggest appetite ( I have a feeling the sloth will lose out on that last competition…)

Shark vs Sloths - who will win?

How to Save a Species

This fascinating book takes a close look at some of the most endangered animals and plants on the planet. Readers will learn about the efforts being made to save species from extinction – both success stories and cases where the situation currently looks dire. 17 of the 100 most endangered species are featured in this logbook-style fact book, including the pygmy three toed sloth. Aimed at a reading level of grade 4, this should provide lots of food for thought for elementary students.

information about 17 of the most endangered species in the world


Sloth fact books for fluent readers

Sloths: Life in the Slow Lane

Although primarily this is a book of photography, it does have a lot of wonderful information about sloths in it. Dr Rebecca Cliffe is a leading sloth researcher and the book reveals some fascinating discoveries about this beautiful animal. Also, you can stare at the pictures for hours, they are lovely.

The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife by Lucy Cooke

If you haven’t already watched Lucy Cooke’s TED talk about sloths, then I recommend you do (check it out here).

Lucy is a very entertaining and very knowledgeable author and filmmaker – and this new book looks like a fun read.

So, let us know how you went with your assignment in the comments below! And if you have another suggestion for a book we should add to the list please give it a shout out in the comments too.

 

Sloth books for kids: 10 great story books about sloths

Are you looking for a sweet little story book to read to your sloth loving kids at night? Or are you a teacher looking for some books to fill your classroom library that will nicely supplement your rainforest teaching unit?

We’ve had a good slow look around and found what we think are the best story books about sloths. Check them out!

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Bedtime for Baby Sloth

There’s a lot that baby sloth needs to do before she can possibly go to bed. Sound familiar?

Snoozefest by Samantha Berger

A very cute and colorful rhyming story about a sloth who heads to Snoozefest. This gentle spoof of musical festivals will even keep parents amused (which is always a good thing when you have to read a book eleventy hundred times).

Sloth at the Zoom by Helaine Becker

A sweet and funny story about the importance of taking things slow and not hurtling through life all the time. Great for preschoolers.


Super Sloth by Robert Starling

Superheroes are super fast! Sloths, not so much. So what is a sloth to do when he has big dreams about saving the world?

This is a sweet story about learning to use your natural strengths to your advantage.

Jellycat Cyril’s Big Adventure by Lizzie Walkley

Follow Cyril on his big adventure around a busy city. For those who want a more sensory experience, you can buy Cyril himself to cuddle up with while you read.

Zoe’s Rescue Zoo: The Super Sloth by Amelia Cobb

Part of the lovely series called Zoe’s Rescue Zoo, about a girl who lives with her mum (the zoo vet) at a zoo. Zoe can talk to the animals!

Perfect for any animal loving child, around the 5-7 year age bracket, to be read to. Or maybe a bit older if they prefer to read to themselves.

Peter & Ernesto: The Lost Sloths by Graham Annable

Do you have a child that doesn’t love to read? Graphic novels, or comics, are usually a great way to introduce the joy of books to kids who don’t find reading fun. This is a fun tale about two sloth friends who go on an adventure to find a new tree after their last one is destroyed in a hurricane.

Lea Leads the Way (Girl of the Year) by Lisa Yee

Lea Clark was the American Girl doll Girl of the Year in 2016, and this is the book that tells her story. During a hike in the rainforest with her brother, Lea finds a badly injured baby sloth and must do all she can to help it survive. But is she doing the right thing?

Great for sloth lovers and American Girl doll appreciators.

Mervin the Sloth is about to do the best thing in the world by Colleen AF Venable

But what IS the best thing in the world??

This is a kind of quirky story book so check out the pictures to see if you like the style before you buy. But, you never know what’s going to appeal to kids -sometimes it’s what we least expect.


The Sloth who slowed us down by Margaret Wild

Margaret Wild was a favorite of my two kids when they were little. I swear I read Baby Boomsticks at least 1000 times.

Now Margaret has a book about a sweet sloth who helps a fast paced family slow down to appreciate what they have.

Do you have another favorite story book about sloths? Share it in the comments and share the sloth love with other storybook-loving, sloth-appreciating kiddos.

Why are sloths slow?

You can be pretty sure that the first word that comes to most people’s minds when they think of sloths is S L O W.

And that’s for a good reason. Three toed sloths are indeed the slowest mammal on earth.

But sadly, in this day and age of super speed and fast paced everything, being slow doesn’t get you much respect. In fact people tend to equate slowness with stupidity.

Sloths may be very slow, but they are very far from stupid. Their slowness has a purpose, and indeed it has helped sloths to survive for millions of years!

So, instead of equating sloths with the word slow, let’s change our thinking. From now on I suggest that when we think of sloths, we think of this word:

The Cambridge definition of the word stealthy
The Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word stealthy

It makes sense doesn’t it? Sloths meet every criteria of the definition. And, stealth is cool.

Ninjas are stealthy. Ninjas are way cool.  So are sloths.

Why are sloths so slow stealthy?

Survival strategy

Fast animals like the cheetah get to be part of the cool-crowd because they are fast. Very fast.

They can run alright. They’ve evolved to be capable of short bursts of great speed, but the fact is that they lose about half of their kills to hyenas because they can’t risk getting hurt. In other words – they’re fast but not very strong.

Sloths, on the other hand, are actually really strong. Could you hang upside down from a tree for long? Me either. Sloths do it all day every day. Even though they have about 30% less muscle mass than other mammals their size, their muscles are made of special ‘low-twitch’ fibers that give them lots of strength without using a lot of energy.

No one’s perfect of course, and the cheetah is still awesome – I’m not trying to diss the cheetah. I’m just saying we need to look at the whole picture. Cheetahs are incredibly fast but they’re not very strong, and they need to work very hard for their meals.

Sloths, on the other hand, are very slow. But they don’t have to worry about hurting themselves when they’re on the hunt for their next feed. They maybe just have to rotate their neck ever so slightly and pull that tasty looking leaf of the vine.

Slowly.

And stealthily.

Diet

The sloth’s diet has a lot to do with the sloth’s speed.

As you know, sloths live on leaves, flowers and stalks. These tasty treats are actually pretty hard to digest, so sloths have developed a stomach that has four chambers. This helps them to break down the tough fibre and toxins in the leaves. But it takes about a month to digest each leaf.

This means that about 30% of the sloth’s body weight is fermenting leaves (which partly explains why they’re such good swimmers – they’re basically a fur ball of gas and this helps them to float).

Now, vegan  humans often cop a lot of flak for not having enough nutrition in their diet. Just think about the sloth’s diet for a minute!  Leaves and flowers don’t have a great deal of nutritional value, so sloths have evolved to use as little energy as possible.

Metabolism

A slow metabolism uses less energy than a fast one. And so sloths turn their food into energy at a very slow rate. In fact three toed sloths have the slowest metabolic rate of any mammal.

Scientists are discovering that their metabolism is actually pretty unique, as it seems they can temporarily suppress their metabolism when temperatures get too high (and they’re the only mammal known to do this).

Predators

Sloths have evolved alongside predators such as the harpy eagle. Harpy eagles are about as sharp-eyed as you can get and can detect the tiniest movements- so it’s actually in the sloth’s best interests to be as slow as possible. It’s harder for the harpy eagle, or big cats,  to see a slow moving sloth than another animal who is moving quickly.

Another benefit of living solely on leaves and flowers is that you don’t have to go looking for your food. Animals that have to hunt or forage for their meals regularly have to move out of their safe homes to do so, and therefore put themselves at risk of being detected by their predators. Sloths just hang out in the tree tops and slowly munch a leaf or two each day – clever! (and stealthy).

Want to learn more?

Lucy Cooke is a zoologist and an expert on sloths. Check out her very entertaining TED talk and learn more about why sloths are the masters of stealth.

If you like Lucy’s work, check out her books available on Amazon.

Please note that these are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support!

cover of lucy cooke book

life in the slow lane book about sloths by lucy cooke

original sloths calendar cover 2020

power of sloth lucy cooke book