Ground-Breaking Study Reveals Sympatric Sloths Have Developed Diverse Strategies to Adapt to Their Surroundings, Enhancing Their Chances of Survival in Face of Environmental Fluctuations

Researchers have shed light on the activity patterns and behavioral adaptations of two sympatric sloth species, Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni. This ground-breaking study, conducted in the lowland rainforests of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, offers valuable insights into the ecological dynamics of sloths and their ability to thrive in diverse environmental conditions. Faced with the challenge of studying the elusive nature of sloths, Dr. Rebecca Cliffe, Founder and Executive Director of The Sloth Conservation Foundation, and colleagues employed micro data loggers to continuously monitor the behavior of both three-toed sloths (Bradypus) and two-toed sloths (Choloepus) over extended periods, ranging from days to weeks. By doing so, they were able to explore the influence of fluctuating environmental conditions on sloth activity and its correlation with their unique low-energy lifestyle. The findings, published on May 4,2023 in PeerJ Life & Environment, indicate that both Bradypus and Choloepus sloths exhibit cathemeral activity patterns, characterized by irregular and variable periods of activity throughout the 24-hour cycle. This behavior allows sloths to take advantage of favorable environmental conditions while minimizing the risk of predation. The open-access article is titled “The Behaviour and Activity Budgets of Two Sympatric Sloths; Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni.”
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