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suggested reading


evolution of sloths

Gaudin, T. (2004). Phylogenetic relationships among sloths (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Tardigrada): the craniodental evidence. Zoological Journal Of The Linnean Society, 140(2), 255-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2003.00100.x

Hautier, L., Weisbecker, V., Sanchez-Villagra, M., Goswami, A., & Asher, R. (2010). Skeletal development in sloths and the evolution of mammalian vertebral patterning. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, 107(44), 18903-18908. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010335107

Slater, G., Cui, P., Forasiepi, A., Lenz, D., Tsangaras, K., & Voirin, B. et al. (2016). Evolutionary Relationships among Extinct and Extant Sloths: The Evidence of Mitogenomes and Retroviruses. Genome Biology And Evolution, 8(3), 607-621. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw023

Vizcaíno, S., & Bargo, M. (2014). Loss of Ancient Diversity of Xenarthrans and the Value of Protecting Extant Armadillos, Sloths and Anteaters. Edentata, 15(1), 27-38. doi: 10.5537/020.015.0111

Vizcaíno, S. (2009). The teeth of the “toothless”: novelties and key innovations in the evolution of xenarthrans (Mammalia, Xenarthra). Paleobiology, 35(3), 343-366. doi: 10.1666/0094-8373-35.3.343

physiology and anatomy of sloths  

Clauss, M. (2004). The potential interplay of posture, digestive anatomy, density of ingesta and gravity in mammalian herbivores: why sloths do not rest upside down. Mammal Review, 34(3), 241-245. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2004.00039.x

Dial, D. Two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus):  

Ten years of management at the National Aquarium. 2019 Animal Keepers Forum 46 (5) 46 

Emerling CA, Springer MS. 2015 Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra Proc. R. Soc. B 282: 20142192. 

Garcés-Restrepo, M., Peery, M., Reid, B., & Pauli, J. (2017). Individual reproductive strategies shape the mating system of tree sloths. Journal Of Mammalogy. doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx094


Gilmore, D., Da-Costa, C., & Duarte, D. (2000). An update on the physiology of two- and three-toed sloths. Brazilian Journal Of Medical And Biological Research, 33(2), 129-146. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2000000200001

McAfee, R., & Green, J. (2015). The role of bite force in the formation of orthodentine microwear in tree sloths (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Folivora): Implications for feeding ecology. Archives Of Oral Biology, 60(1), 181-192. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2014.09.014

Michel, A., Silva, F., Barbosa, F., de Carvalho, T., Pinto, J., & Santos, R. (2017). Ulcerative and necrotizing gastritis in a captive sloth (Bradypus variegatus, xenarthra, bradypodidae) due to severe parasitism with Papaleiuris locchis (Nematoda, spirocercidae). Journal Of Zoo And Wildlife Medicine, 48(1), 255-259. doi: 10.1638/2016-0135.1

Moreno, S., & Plese, T. (2006). The Illegal Traffic in Sloths and Threats to Their Survival in Colombia. Edentata, 7(1), 10. doi: 10.1896/1413-4411.7.1.10

Pauli, J., Mendoza, J., Steffan, S., Carey, C., Weimer, P., & Peery, M. (2014). A syndrome of mutualism reinforces the lifestyle of a sloth. Proceedings Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1778), 20133006. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3006

Scholander, P., & Krog, J. (1957). Countercurrent Heat Exchange and Vascular Bundles in Sloths. Journal Of Applied Physiology, 10(3), 405-411. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1957.10.3.405


Sibaja-Morales, K., de Oliveira, J., Jiménez Rocha, A., Gamboa, J., Gamboa, J., & Arroyo Murillo, F. et al. (2009). Gastrointestinal Parasites and Ectoparasites of Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni Sloths in Captivity from Costa Rica. Journal Of Zoo And Wildlife Medicine, 40(1), 86-90. doi: 10.1638/2008-0036.1

Suutari, M., Majaneva, M., Fewer, D., Voirin, B., Aiello, A., & Friedl, T. et al. (2010). Molecular evidence for a diverse green algal community growing in the hair of sloths and a specific association with Trichophilus welckeri (Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10(1), 86. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-86


Taube, E., Keravec, J., Vié, J., & Duplantier, J. (2008). Reproductive biology and postnatal development in sloths, Bradypus and Choloepus: review with original data from the field (French Guiana) and from captivity. Mammal Review, 31(3-4), 173-188. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2001.00085.x

Vizcaíno, S., & Loughry, W. (2008). The biology of the Xenarthra. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

medical reference

​ Miller, E., Lamberski, N., Calle. P. Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, Current Therapy Volume 9

scientific illustrations of sloths

Dial, D. (2021). Fat Deposition in Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus). Scientific illustration by Jason Brady

Dial, D. (2020). Choloepus didactylus Dentition. Scientific illustration by Emily Slapin

Dial, D. (2018).  Digestive Anatomy of Choloepus didactylus  Scientific illustration by Lohihta Kethu

Dial, D. (2015).  The First Year of Development in Linne’s Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) Scientific illustration by Rose Perry

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