Significance to humans

Several tropical rainforest species, including sloths, are slowly being recognized for their potential to further human medicine. Sloths are known for their ability to heal quickly, avoid infection, and survive the most severe injuries. Researchers are investigating the basis of this healing response so as to develop improved drugs or treatment methods for severe wounds.

A pale-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) juvenile. (Photo by Jany Sauvanet/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

1. Pale-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus); 2. Monk sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus); 3. Brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus varie-gatus); 4. Maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus). (Illustration by Amanda Humphrey)

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