Sloths may be slow but they are fascinating

10 Fun Facts About The Worlds Slooooooooowest Mammal

Thaaaaaaaaat's riiiiiiiiiigggggggghhhhht I'm taaaaaaaaalking abbbbbbbbbbbbbout slooooooooooths.

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Sloths don't always receive the best reputation because, well, they don't do much. They are the slowest mammal on planet Earth and live most of their lives in the trees. The life of a sloth is truly fascinating and I hope that this listicle helps you grow your love for these weird creatures and helps you appreciate them a little bit more.

1. Three-toed & Two-toed

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/science/the-sloths-busy-inner-life.html

Many people think that two-toed and three-toed sloths are very similar but they actually aren't. They belong to two different families. The two-toed sloths belong to the Megalonychidae family and three-toed sloths belong to the Bradypodidae family. The reason that they are different families is due to convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is when two different species or genuses develop similar traits because of similar selective pressures in their environments. Two-toed sloths are closely related to ancient and extinct ground sloths in the families Megatheriidae and Nothrotheriidae, while the three-toed sloth is not.

2. Move so slow that moss grows on them

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/164170348887649087/

Sloths have a reputation for being one of the slowest moving animals on earth. In fact, a sloth's slow lifestyle allows algae to grow in its fur, causing its coat to develop a green tint. As the world's slowest mammal, algae grows on their fur coat.

3. Hibiscus flowers are sloth chocolate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fINwkO3IpX8

To be honest I do not know exactly why sloths love hibiscus flowers but several Youtube videos show them eating them like crazy. Maybe the flower is sweet? Maybe it has some mood enhancement property? We may never know the exact reason but I know for sure that it is just so sweet to see this little guy eating a bright reddish pink flower.

4. They can turn their head 270 degrees

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/sloths-cute-disgusting-poll

With extra neck vertebrae, they can turn their heads 270 degrees. Now in my personal opinion, I think that is pretty impressive. Owls also are able to turn their heads up to 270 degrees so I guess sloths and owls have that one cool fact in common. However, I think it would be quite terrifying to see a sloth slowly turning their head 270 degrees to stare me in the face.

5. They spend most of their hours of the day asleep

https://www.factinate.com/things/42-slow-facts-sloths/

As a college student this sounds pretty nice. In college, you really don't get to sleep very much due to the fact that there is constantly work to finish or to start, and the papers and projects seem never-ending. Although sleeping all day sounds amazing, I also think that it would be very unproductive. Sloths sleep around 15-18 hours a day. That only leaves about 6-9 hours a day that they are awake.

6. They primarily stay above the ground

https://animals.mom.me/kind-trees-sloths-live-in-5343.html

This fun fact makes complete sense. Sloths move so slow that I believe if they stayed on the ground too long a predator would eat them because the sloths wouldn't be fast enough to out crawl them. It's pretty sad but good for sloths for protecting themselves and staying up high above the ground.

7. They have the slowest metabolism

https://www.wimp.com/sloth-just-wants-carrots/

The hotter the environment, the more hyper the sloth; this has led sloth metabolism to be likened to that of reptiles. "Considering the sloths limited energy supply and the potential knock-on effects of a warming climate, we designed an experiment to find out."The researchers from the SCF, Swansea University and Queen's University Belfast in the UK, monitored eight adult three-fingered sloths (Bradypus variegatus) in a metabolic chamber. They worked out the resting metabolic rate, and then increased the temperature slowly from 21 to 34 degrees Celsius (69 to 93 Fahrenheit) – all temperatures that sloths would experience if they were in their jungle habitat."They use very little energy when it is cold (just like a reptile), lots of energy in the middle (between 26-30 degrees C° [78-86 F°]), but then as they get too hot, they begin to use less energy again."

8. Sloths are clumsy on land but are great swimmers

http://www.popularmechanics.co.za/stuff/pygmy-three-toed-sloth-swimming/

Using their patented sloth-y version of doggy paddle, they move through water up to three times faster than they move on land. They can slow their heart rate to one-third of its normal pace, allowing sloths to hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes. Who would have ever guessed that sloths can move faster in water than on land, especially 3 times faster. Also, them holding their breath for 40 minutes is pretty cool.

9. Their fur hosts an entire ecosystem

https://ticotimes.net/2014/01/23/this-gross-discovery-may-make-you-rethink-your-obsession-with-sloths

Sloths are known to host an entire ecosystem of invertebrate species that are unique to sloth fur. It has been reported that alongside the symbiotic fungi and algae that act as an effective form of camouflage, up to 950 moths, beetles, cockroaches, and even worms can be found on an individual sloth.

10. Baby sloths are the cutest things ever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaqzPMOd_1g

Come on. Be honest. That is one of the sweetest faces ever. Yes, sloths may get slightly ugly when they start to age and grow up, but when they are babies they have giant eyes and the fluffiest fur. You know you are just wishing you could cuddle this little guy right about now.

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An Open Letter To Cruel Companies Still Testing On Animals

Just in The United States, guess how many animals are, "burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused" in labs each year? Over 100 million.
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Dear companies that still insist on testing on animals,

First off, why? Broad question, but seriously. Is it necessary to test on our furry friends to keep humans safe? Sure, maybe years and years ago when we didn't have face recognizing smartphones and exercise tracking apps, it was our only (sad) option.

But we don't have to put animals through this pain anymore.

Just in The United States, guess how many animals are, "burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused" in labs each year? Over 100 million. AND over 90% of labs aren't even counted in animal testing statistics. That's disgusting.

But guess who has the largest cosmetic market worldwide? Europe. And guess who doesn't test on animals yet successfully holds this title? Europe. (Israel and India have also banned animal testing, too!)

So, American cosmetic companies, how could you possibly give up your precious animal testing while making sure your buyers are safe? Well, there are many ways!

- You can test on human cells and tissue after placing them into test tubes

- Use MRIs and CT scans for non-invasive testing

- Utilize computer models and virtual drug trials.

The possibilities are endless AND give more accurate results! With no harm! Would ya look at that!

Some may say that animal testing is the way to success, but clearly, we have other options that are working in favor of animals AND the economy. Way to go, Europe.

America, let's not be stubborn. Let's make a change and utilize the amazing technology we have at our fingertips. Let the innocent bunnies and mice go back into the wilderness where they're supposed to be, unharmed.

From,

Your cruelty-free-cosmetic-lover

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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The Kentucky Derby Isn’t A Cool Tradition, It’s The Mistreatment Of Beautiful Animals

"The most exciting two minutes in sports" is two minutes too long.

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"And they're off!"

The Kentucky Derby is known for its gambling, hats, and horses. It's one of the most bet on sports in history. It also boasts to be the longest-running sports event in United States history.

While we're talking about facts, let's talk about arguably the most famous racehorse in history: Secretariat. He still holds the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby. He sired 453 foals and lived to be 19 years old. Big accomplishments for a racehorse. After his death, we also learned that his heart was 2 1/2 times the size of a normal horse heart. That combined with his longer than average stride is what won him the Triple Crown in 1973.

What brought down this tremendous machine? Chronic Laminitis, which is when the hoof-leg joint becomes worn down causing extreme pain to the horse. The best racehorse in history was euthanized because of the racing that made him famous.

Lameness is among the most common injury among racehorses, just as runner's knee is the most common injury in runners. It can not only cost the horse a race but cost its life. According to the New York Times, 24 horses die every week on United States racetracks. That doesn't even account for the drugs used to make horses race better or cover the pain of injuries.

But my biggest problem with horseracing isn't the drugs or the injuries per se, but the age. To be raced in the Kentucky Derby a horse must be 3 years old, even though a fully developed 4-year-old horse would be faster. Why then do we race premature horses? For the economic gain.

Don't believe me? Think about it this way: a 2-year-old horse would be like watching your little brother play tee-ball, it's not as competitive due to the horses being so young. At 4 years old the horses are too predictable; they're developed enough that it's not really a gamble to know who will win. 3 years old is right in the middle — the perfect age because there's just the right amount of uncertainty to make it worth the money gambled.

I don't think the solution is to outlaw horseracing — it really is fun to watch and not every owner and trainer cheats by drugging their horse. But I do think that raising the racing age to 4 years old would be much better on the horses. So what if it's more predictable? The fun should be in watching them run, which is what Thoroughbreds are built to do, not the gambling.

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