Ella Matsdotter's post

Did you know that sloths hold a whole independent ecosystem in their fur? Today is sloth day 🦥! Here are some reasons why sloths are especially spectacular, and how they help protect their tropical forest habitat which we urgently need to protect. --> A sloth's fur is home to a whole ecosystem, an entire community of tiny, living things. Animals burrow into a sloth’s hair to eat delicious algae that often grows there (hence why they can sometimes look green). Hundreds of moths, beetles, cockroaches, and worms can reportedly be found on some sloths and aid the notorious animal in keeping clean and healthy as well as acting as an effective form of camouflage. Yet, due to the sloths' remarkably low body temperature and unusual circulatory system, they do not attract blood-sucking invertebrates such as leeches, fleas, or ticks. --> They rarely leave the security of their treetops, moms even give birth while hanging from tree branches. Whereafter the newborns crawl onto their moms’ bellies, where they then hang out for the next several months. And while sloths are famously slow, they have sometimes been known to take a quick, sporty swim where they drop down from the branches they’re clinging to into rivers below. And surprisingly, sloths are skilled at this water activity, where they become three times faster in water than on land. So then how do sloths help aid the environment? More commonly, sloths inhabit the rainforests of South America, although across the species they do span a vast amount of countries. Sloths help their environment by opening up the rainforest canopies, allowing vital sunlight to trickle down to the forest floor. Additionally, they tend to, due to their slow metabolism, go for the younger, softer leaves which also allows the trees to send their energy resources to the more fully developed leaves for oxygen production. They also fertilize vegetation by defecation and are an important food source for predators such as jaguars, ocelots, and margays. They have even been known to provide a cure for some diseases, where chemicals found in the sloth's fur could be used to fight against diseases such as breast cancer and malaria-carrying parasites. We already know that for several unjustifiable reasons these precious ecosystems which sloths inhabit are in decline. Due to deforestation and global warming, the areas are becoming smaller and smaller. Because of this, we might in a not-so-far-away future, lose this incredibly gentle, unique, and iconic mammal. It is imperative to understand that nature is not at our service, it is time to outgrow our anthropocentric mentality. Sloths have been around for millions of years, proving that you don’t have to outrun life in order to survive it. And although we can learn from this important message, in regard to the protection of our earth We Don't Have Time to wait, because soon it will be too late to save them and the environment they help protect. Sources: https://slothconservation.org/what-do-sloths-give-to-humanity/ https://www.natience.com/how-do-sloths-help-the-environment/

  • Tabitha Kimani

    30 w

    Very informative. Nature is to be protected at all cost.

    • Sarah Chabane

      31 w

      We 💚 sloths, let's protect them

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