Slow Motion: Fun Facts on Our Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
September 28, 2017
With less than two months till Caribbean Journey’s opening, things have been moving awfully quickly lately. On this week’s Tuesday Topic, we slow things down a bit with some info on Xena, our Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth.
If you’re expecting an animal that’s fast and furious, you won’t find it in Xena. The gentle two-toed sloth takes its time moving through the forest canopy in its native range of South America. Using their long and powerful limbs, their reinforced spines, and the two curved claws on each arm which give them their name, they’ll hoist themselves from branch to branch, seeking out their next meal of leaves, fruits, and other vegetation. They’ll also obtain water from these plants and from occasionally lapping up dew. They chew their food with small dull molars, and the sloth’s hardened lips can also help it tear off leaves to munch on. Xena receives a number of vegetables and fruit in her diet, but her favorite snack by far is romaine lettuce. When she see those leafy greens, she can move relatively fast to get it!
Guests in Caribbean Journey shouldn’t worry about getting a blurred picture of Xena…she moves far too slow to ever mess up the shot. Two-toed sloths are so slow in fact, that in the wild, algae can grow in their fur. This homegrown collection of algae can give the sloth a greenish tint, camouflaging it from predators. Blending in can be the key to surviving in the jungle, as anaconda, jaguars, and harpy eagles are always looking to make an easy lunch out of the slow-moving sloth.
Xena, however, will have a safe and carefree life in Caribbean Journey, taking it easy in the trees next to the Karst Pool. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Xena when Caribbean Journey opens on May 13. Not only is she always fun to watch, she’s a welcome reminder in our fast-paced world about the value of sometimes taking things slow.