Reproductive biology

Living sloths are solitary once weaned, and are polygynous, meeting only to mate. Males do not assist with rearing the young. References suggest a gestation period for Choloepus of 11 months and/or an ability to store sperm; for larger bodied West Indian sloths it was probably longer.

A Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) climbs a vine in a rainforest in central Costa Rica. (Photo by Janis Burger. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

A southern two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) hanging by its hind legs. (Photo by Erwin & Peggy Bauer. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

The southern two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) sleeps for about 15 hours during the day. (Photo by © J. C. Carton. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) climbs a tree. (Photo by Tom Brakefield/OKAPIA/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

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