How long does it take for a sloth to digest its food?

How long does it take for a sloth to digest its food?

The Sloth is a mammal in the sub-order Folivora. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Central America and South America. It is arboreal, meaning that it lives in trees. It is also nocturnal, mostly active at night. 

It does not have many teeth; only 4-5 pairs of teeth. It has canine teeth, but no incisor teeth. It eats mainly leaves, so it does not need sharp incisors. Some sloths are omnivorous, eating leaves, insects, fruit, and small dead animals.

Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth

The Sloth is known for moving extremely slowly, such as 4 metres (13 feet) per minute. Does it eat slowly too? Does its food digest slowly too? 

It does eat its food slowly. No other mammal eats and digests food as slowly as the Sloth.

It has a large, slow-acting, multi-chambered stomach, and its digestive process can take 30 days or more to fully digest a meal. The Sloth eliminates its food (urinating and defecating) about once a week. 

Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth

Location of photogaphs: London Zoo, England

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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