Palethroated threetoed sloth

Bradypus tridactylus

TAXONOMY

Bradypus tridactylus Linnaeus, 1758, Suriname. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Mouton parasseux (French Guiana); Surinamese: Dri-teenluiaard.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Back darker, buff to dark brown, with contrasting pale or dark grizzling. Belly paler, off-white to very deep cream. Back and rump with variably sized irregular roundels of cream or dirty orange. Facial area, a cream colored mask extending back to the ears and onto the throat. No black contrasting "mask" as in B. variegatus, though some dark patterning round eyes may occur. Adult males posses a speculum like that of B. variegatus.

DISTRIBUTION

Replaces B. variegatus in eastern Venezuela, the Guyanas, and northeastern Brazil. The two species may coexist in the lower Amazon.

HABITAT

Lowland rainforest. Less flexible than B. variegatus and rarely recorded from seasonally dry forests or highly disturbed areas.

BEHAVIOR

Active at any time during day or night. Ecology believed to be very similar to that of B. variagatus. Occurs together with Choloepus didactylus, the two-toed sloth. Resources are partitioned between the two by differing diets, activity patterns and use of different forest strata.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Believed to be similar to that of B. variegatus.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Gestation lasts 106 days. In Guyana, births occur only in the rainy season, but elsewhere, reproduction seems flexible and dependant on local conditions. This may be due to the female's ability to halt an embryo's development until conditions are favorable. Female may be sexually receptive while still nursing and can also be both nursing and pregnant at the same time. An interval of seven months between births has been reported under good conditions. Probably polygynous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Sometimes hunted for meat. ♦

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