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Old 02-17-2012, 11:46 AM
YogSothoth YogSothoth is offline
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Are sloths dangerous?

They move reeeeaaaalllly slow, but can they move fast if they want to? If angered, frightened, or hungry, could a sloth just whack you with one of its big clawy hands? Or would it still move like it was underwater and even a child could dodge it?
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:48 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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They hiss when they're mad, did you know?

At the zoo, they let us volunteers clean their exhibit with them in it. They do bite, if you really have it coming to you, and they can move faster than their normal slothful pace, yes. But generally they don't.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:14 PM
YogSothoth YogSothoth is offline
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I didn't know they hiss. Frankly, slow moving animals with gigantic razor-sharp claws scare me. I never know if they're slow because they can't move any faster or they're simply scheming.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:54 PM
isaiahrobinson isaiahrobinson is offline
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They can swipe with their claws. They can't ever move quickly by our standards, even in immediate danger:

Quote:
Sloths' claws serve as their only natural defence. A cornered sloth may swipe at its attackers in an effort to scare them away or wound them. Despite sloths' apparent defencelessness, predators do not pose special problems: sloths blend in with the trees and, moving only slowly, do not attract attention.

Sloths move only when necessary and even then very slowly: they have about a quarter as much muscle tissue as other animals of similar weight. They can move at a marginally higher speed if they are in immediate danger from a predator (4 m or 13 feet per minute for the three-toed sloth), but they burn large amounts of energy doing so. ...
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:58 PM
BigAppleBucky BigAppleBucky is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
They hiss when they're mad, did you know?

At the zoo, they let us volunteers clean their exhibit with them in it. They do bite, if you really have it coming to you, and they can move faster than their normal slothful pace, yes. But generally they don't.
Attractive actress, Kristen Bell, loves them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70
  #6  
Old 02-17-2012, 01:59 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I didn't know they hiss. Frankly, slow moving animals with gigantic razor-sharp claws scare me.
Their claws are indeed big, but are they really razor-sharp? They always looked pretty dull to me. Not that I'd want to get swiped by one regardless...
  #7  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:12 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Are sloths dangerous?

Only if you debauch them.
  #8  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:32 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Their claws are indeed big, but are they really razor-sharp? They always looked pretty dull to me. Not that I'd want to get swiped by one regardless...
They're not sharp - but neither are my dog's, and he can give you a good claw-up every so often.

It's not that they move fast, but that when you're expecting their normal sloth pace and they pick it up a bit it's a surprise. For a bit we had a new sloth and had to keep the two separated, so we had to clean around one or the other in the backup - sometimes you'd get a hiss and a swipe for encouraging the shorter tempered sloth to climb up off the floor. I mean, nothing you couldn't avoid, mind.

Also sometimes they sleep with their tongues out, which is adorable.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:48 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
They hiss when they're mad, did you know?

At the zoo, they let us volunteers clean their exhibit with them in it. They do bite, if you really have it coming to you, and they can move faster than their normal slothful pace, yes. But generally they don't.
You really need to do an ask the volunteer zookeeper thread. Actually I've been thinking for a while now I'd love to see as ask the zookeeper thread in general. But seeing your zoo related posts really makes me want to see one now.
  #10  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:53 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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One of my favorite cartoons has a Giant Ground Sloth attacking two people. The caption:

SPOILER:
A Giant Ground Sloth! Walk for your lives!!




And, just for kicks, the circa 1950 movie Unknown Island DID feature a Giant Ground Sloth that attacked. It looked more like a gorilla, which was probably the costume they used.
  #11  
Old 02-17-2012, 03:11 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
You really need to do an ask the volunteer zookeeper thread. Actually I've been thinking for a while now I'd love to see as ask the zookeeper thread in general. But seeing your zoo related posts really makes me want to see one now.
Oh, I really don't know that much. Mostly I scoop poop.

But I do know that sloths have hella dandruff. Seriously, everywhere.
  #12  
Old 02-17-2012, 03:58 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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I thought there was a big temperament difference between two-toed and three-toed sloths, and that the three-toes are super-slow and the two-toed are capable of being more aggressive about defending themselves.

Yes? No?
  #13  
Old 02-17-2012, 04:22 PM
colonial colonial is offline
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Semi hijack: The giant Western Hemisphere gound sloth megatherium,
which survived until ~10,000 years ago, was as big as an elephant, reaching
18 feet in height, possessing scaled-up claws to boot:

Gaint Ground Sloth Skeleton

Reconstruction Portrait Showing Claws

No need for those claws to be sharp to do some damage.
  #14  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:35 PM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
I thought there was a big temperament difference between two-toed and three-toed sloths, and that the three-toes are super-slow and the two-toed are capable of being more aggressive about defending themselves.

Yes? No?
According to Gerald Durrell in Three Singles to Adventure; yes.

"As it had demostrated on the night of its escape, the two-toed (sloth) had a savage and untrustworthy nature, whereas its relation could be handled with complete safety, even when freshly caught."

The sloth escape itself was hysterical, but the savageness of the beast may have been exaggerated by the dark, the fact that the 'heroes' were half alseep, armed only with a stick and hampered by the amorous advances of a rather thick curassow.
  #15  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:48 PM
guizot guizot is offline
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I met someone who had a pet sloth that he just carried around, hanging from his neck. He said it never hurt him at all, (I asked because I was sure that they use their claws to dig into tree branches.)
  #16  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:53 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
They hiss when they're mad, did you know?
At the zoo, they let us volunteers clean their exhibit with them in it. They do bite, if you really have it coming to you, and they can move faster than their normal slothful pace, yes. But generally they don't.
Yeah, they can't be all that aggressive or dangerous—I've been to at least a couple zoos where the sloths were kept in a house that you could walk around in. I remember one of them was the Budapest Zoo; it's got a house with marmosets, sloths, and tamarinds. They dangle from tree branches low enough to touch. I'm sure you're not actually supposed to touch them, though, and much to my embarrassment, my grandfather grabbed one of the monkey's tails… On our visit one of the sloths was also close enough to grab, though thankfully my grandfather kept his hands off of it.
  #17  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:21 PM
KneeSid KneeSid is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Also sometimes they sleep with their tongues out, which is adorable.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL5mA...eature=related

Baby sloth yawning with tongue hanging out
  #18  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:34 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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While the three-toed belong to the Bradypodidae, which specialized in tree-sloth-ness, the two-toed are the surviving members of the mid-range ground sloth family, the Megalonychidae. (Interesting note: the Megaloychidae made it out of South America by island-hopping before the Central American isthmus was raised, and did the majority of their evolutionary radiation in the Greater Antilles and North America. They appear to have reinvaded South America at the time of the Great American Interchange, going south with the cats, camelids, etc.
  #19  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:41 PM
Dufus Dufus is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Oh, I really don't know that much. Mostly I scoop poop.

But I do know that sloths have hella dandruff. Seriously, everywhere.

I used to see sloths when I lived in Panama. If you ruffled their hair clouds of moths flew out.
  #20  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:01 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Are sloths dangerous?

Only if you debauch them.
Bonus points for the Aubrey and Maturin ref.
  #21  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:45 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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One of the tour guides I met in Costa Rica told us that young sloths often fall out of trees, as they figure out just how far they can push things when climbing.

We actually saw one fall. It could be dangerous, if you happen to be directly under it.


-D/a
  #22  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:53 PM
WCStyles WCStyles is offline
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I used to see sloths when I lived in Panama. If you ruffled their hair clouds of moths flew out.
I never touched any of the sloths I saw when I lived in Panama, but I loved when we'd come upon one crossing the road. Cars would sit at a stop for as long as it took, and the scene was as though someone had poured pancake batter out onto the asphalt, and people had gathered around to watch as it oozed from one shoulder to the other. They're still my favorite land animal. (Octopus takes top spot overall.)
  #23  
Old 02-18-2012, 09:24 PM
Jamicat Jamicat is offline
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Excuse me waiter...Why is there a sloth moth in my broth?
  #24  
Old 02-18-2012, 10:07 PM
Dufus Dufus is offline
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As strange as it may sound, the ones I saw even had moss growing on them. I didn't put that in my first post because I didn't want to say sloths, moths and moss all in the same sentence.
  #25  
Old 02-18-2012, 10:16 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
I thought there was a big temperament difference between two-toed and three-toed sloths, and that the three-toes are super-slow and the two-toed are capable of being more aggressive about defending themselves.

Yes? No?
Yes. Two-toeds are larger, faster, more active, and more likely to bite. As you can see from this skull, they have pretty formidable canine-like teeth. Here's a picture of a sloth bite. I would definitely be cautious about handling a two-toed sloth.

This one takes a few swipes at someone bothering it (starting at about 0:40 in the video). With luck one could latch on with its claws and maybe do some damage.

Three-toeds really can't move very fast, and are pretty placid. I've handled three-toeds with no problem by picking them up by the scruff of the neck like this.
  #26  
Old 02-18-2012, 11:06 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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As strange as it may sound, the ones I saw even had moss growing on them. I didn't put that in my first post because I didn't want to say sloths, moths and moss all in the same sentence.
That's algae. Their hairs are specially formed to make a good base for it; provides camo.
  #27  
Old 02-26-2012, 10:36 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I was looking for another thread when I saw this one and realized I'd forgotten - I realized I didn't know whether our sloths at the zoo are two toed or three toed. They are two toed. Neither have attacked me in a vicious fury quite yet. (Aki is a little grumpier and will hiss at you, slowishly, if you poke her. Cocoa Joe is a good natured sort of fellow.)
  #28  
Old 02-26-2012, 11:38 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I was looking for another thread when I saw this one and realized I'd forgotten - I realized I didn't know whether our sloths at the zoo are two toed or three toed. They are two toed.
Virtually all sloths in zoos are two-toed. For some reason, three-toeds are very difficult to maintain in captivity.
  #29  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:04 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Excuse me waiter...Why is there a sloth moth in my broth?
Have you considered a trip to Hoth?
  #30  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:08 AM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
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Have you considered a trip to Hoth?
Or simply swipe it with a cloth.
  #31  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:44 AM
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Cut out the puns or the mods. will wax wroth!
  #32  
Old 02-27-2012, 05:34 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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You can't handle the troth!
  #33  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:35 AM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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I thought there was a big temperament difference between two-toed and three-toed sloths, and that the three-toes are super-slow and the two-toed are capable of being more aggressive about defending themselves.
It is speculated the two-toed sloth migrated to Australia at about the same time as the first humans. The strange flora combined with an abundance of native herbivores pressured the creature to rely increasingly on flesh for sustinance. As a result, its reflexes improved notably, its teeth became more suited for gripping and teating and its cunning became unmatched in the animal kingdom. Curiously, the habit of hanging upside down from branches was never lost. The modern descendants of the Australian two-toed sloth are rarely seen by humans, and only when one plummets from a tree onto an unsuspecting tourist.
  #34  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:12 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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You can't handle the troth!
Behave yourselves, or I shall invoke the wrath of Thoth!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoth
  #35  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:29 AM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Are sloths dangerous?

Only if you debauch them.
That just made my week.
  #36  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:50 PM
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Two sloths got into a barroom brawl and killed each other.

When the police arrived, they asked the bartender, "What happened?"

He said, "I don't know- it all happened so fast."
  #37  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:09 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
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How did the sloth get its name? It is unfortunate, and unflattering. Like someone was trying to shame it into being more um... active.
  #38  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:20 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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How did the sloth get its name? It is unfortunate, and unflattering. Like someone was trying to shame it into being more um... active.
It's similar in other languages. In Spanish it's know as an oso perezoso (lazy bear), or simple perezoso (lazy).
  #39  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:55 AM
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Sloths dangerous? Nah.

It's the anteaters in the laundry room you really have to watch out for.
  #40  
Old 02-28-2012, 11:09 AM
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It would probably be dangerous to allow a sloth boy scout to assist you across a busy street.
  #41  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:00 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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They hiss when they're mad, did you know?
Thank you for signing up for Sloth Facts!
You will now receive daily fun facts
about sloths.

The maximum ground speed of a
three-toed sloth is 6.5 feet per minute!

<to cancel daily Sloth Facts, reply "cancel".>
  #42  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:03 PM
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Sloths are mammals.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:14 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Sloths are mammals.

Sloths fight ALL the time.
The purpose of the sloth is to flip out and kill people.

cite
  #44  
Old 02-28-2012, 04:21 PM
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Sloths fight ALL the time.
The purpose of the sloth is to flip out and kill people.

cite
The problem is their response time. They are just now working up a good head of steam about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
  #45  
Old 02-28-2012, 06:05 PM
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  #46  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:28 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Command not recognized.

Unlike most mammals, a sloth's hair grows
away from its extremities. Weird!
Thank you for subscribing to Sloth Facts!
  #47  
Old 02-29-2012, 10:02 AM
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Are Sloths Dangerous?

No, I'm mostly harmless.
  #48  
Old 02-29-2012, 04:05 PM
Gymnopithys Gymnopithys is offline
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It is speculated the two-toed sloth migrated to Australia at about the same time as the first humans. The strange flora combined with an abundance of native herbivores pressured the creature to rely increasingly on flesh for sustinance. As a result, its reflexes improved notably, its teeth became more suited for gripping and teating and its cunning became unmatched in the animal kingdom. Curiously, the habit of hanging upside down from branches was never lost. The modern descendants of the Australian two-toed sloth are rarely seen by humans, and only when one plummets from a tree onto an unsuspecting tourist.
You're all mixed up. It's AUSTRIA.
  #49  
Old 10-30-2017, 11:51 PM
mrsmcnew4christ mrsmcnew4christ is offline
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Bit by a sloth

My mother in law was visiting and was taken to a petting zoo in my town. The zoo gave you an option to feed the sloths some thin slices of peaches. All was going well until a male stayed winding around her arm, holding on with his claws and he BIT her arm! She wasn't being mean or provoking him at all so I'm curious why he would've done it. The zookeeper said that none of them had ever bitten before so they were baffled as to what happened to cause this behavior. They reportedly have had their shots and all, but I worry about infections or rabies even. Any ideas from you all what could've happened? Any tips on home treatment or what to watch for if it gets bad? It is causing her some horrible pain today, and is still bleeding a little bit.
  #50  
Old 10-31-2017, 01:11 AM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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I would get her an appointment with a doctor or get her to an ER instead of asking a group of people on a message board. We do have some MDs on the boards, but I doubt a sloth bite is something they have had experience with. Even if the sloth has had its shots, your mother-in-law may need a tetanus shot, and antibiotics if the bite becomes infected.
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