The Amazon is home to the greatest biodiversity on the planet. This is not quite surprising considering that it is the largest tropical forest on the planet, with an area of 5,500,000 km². The abundance of sunlight and water are some of the reasons why this area is so biologically rich. Even though this biodiversity is spread over such a large area, each portion of the Amazon is still home to an incredible number of plant and animal species.
Family: placental mammal
The sloth bear is mainly brownish-brown in colour and measures between 40 and 75 centimetres. It stands out for its small, round and flattened head in which it shows a small gesture with the shape of the mouth that looks like a smile. The sloth bear descends from the branches only once a week to relieve itself, as they move little, they usually grow fungi and algae that become their food.
Its fur is divided into two types of hair: one long and thick and the other short and fine (which can barely be seen). The former usually have a greenish-grey colour and green patches due to algae growth.
Its arms and tail are short, while its limbs are long and well-developed. In addition, its fingers are joined and end in long and curved claws, perfect for being able to grab and hold on to branches.
How long do sloth bears sleep?
Besides being characterized by his slowness, he is also known as a sleepyhead! And it is that he spends most of the day sleeping on the branches of the trees. As its name suggests, it is an animal that does not expend energy and therefore can sleep up to 18 hours in a row.
Reproduction occurs when sloths reach sexual maturity, at four or five years of age. The male is solitary, while the females can live in groups. Its gestation period of 11 and a half months, after a calf is born, It remains clinging to its mother’s fur until she can fend for itself, usually 20 or 25 days after its birth-day.