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  1. 1. Folivora (The Sloth)
  2. 2. Biome The suborder of Folivora is the name for six species of sloth, which include four species of three-toed sloths, and two species of two-toed sloths. They live in the tropical rainforests of South America and Central America.
  3. 3. Food Web Harpy Eagle Sloth Jaguar Cecropia Tree Banana Tree Insects Snakes
  4. 4. Food Web Sloths mostly eat leaves, but also eat some insects and fruit. Their main predators are the harpy eagle and the jaguar. The majority of sloth deaths however are caused by humans through activities such as poaching.
  5. 5. Competition A sloth’s main source of food are leaves, usually from the Cecropia tree, and because of this they do not have any real competition for food, as the leaves are in high supply in the rainforests where they dwell. Sloths will usually pick a single tree where they will eat, and sleep, as well as defecating at its base, however the abundance of Cecropia trees means there is not territorial competition between individual sloths.
  6. 6. Biodiversity The sloths of the Folivora suborder are part of the order Pilosa. This order also includes the suborder Vermilingua, which contains several species of anteater. Its next closest ancestor is the armadillo, which is in the order Cingulata. Together, the Pilosa and Cingulata orders form the Xenarthra superorder.
  7. 7. Adaptations Sloths have a variety of adaptations that help them to survive. A physical adaptation is that their fur grows in the opposite direction of normal animals, which provides protection for the sloth when it is hanging upside down from a tree. It also camouflages them to hide them from possible predators. Their claws are also long and sharp to allow them to easily climb and hang on branches. A physiological adaptation of the sloth is that they maintain very low body temperatures of between 30-34 C°. As the leaves that they eat contain few nutrients and are tough to digest, they have also developed large stomachs that can take over a month to digest all their food. A behavioural adaptation of sloths is that every week they will descend from their tree to defecate at the base of it. The feces will help nourish the tree where the sloth finds its food, allowing the tree to provide more food for the sloth in the future.
  8. 8. Evolution The common ancestor of all sloths, including ground sloths, first emerged approximately 60 million years ago during the Paleogene. Since then, there have been five families of sloth : Bradypodidae, Megalonychidae, Megatheriidae, Mylodontidae, and Nothrotheriidae. Today, the only extant species are in the Bradypodidae and Megalonychidae families, with all the other species being extinct ground sloths. The family Bradypodidae contains four species of three-toed sloths, which are the pale- throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus), the brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus), and the pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus). The family Megalonychidae contains two species of two-toed sloths, which are Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), and Linnaeus’s two- toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus).
  9. 9. Adaptive Radiation Today’s two-toed and three-toed sloths have several differences from their common ancestor that allow them to inhabit different niches, other than number of toes. This common ancestor lived about 35-40 million years ago. Two-toed sloths have six cervical vertebrae, whereas three-toed sloths have nine. Three- toed sloths also have tails and longer forearms, and two-toed sloths have shorter necks and larger eyes. The main thing this has changed between the two types of sloths is that the three-toed sloths tend to stay and live in a single tree, whereas the two-toed sloths will move through different trees more often.
  10. 10. Primary And Secondary Succession Sloths will only inhabit a certain area if it contains the right trees to sustain them. If the trees where they find their leaves are destroyed, for example because of deforestation, the sloths will be unable to survive. If however, primary or secondary succession occurs in an area near a sloth’s current habitats, and the required trees begin to grow there, the sloth may be able to survive in that new habitat.
  11. 11. Sources• • • • • • • • 2258269a1e1501ec358c9cf54d95af9f89182175-s6-c30.jpg • • • • • 0039_Cecropia_obtusifolia.jpg • • • XO10I6NLY_A/ULiEfThpWzI/AAAAAAAAAaM/IAa2ZfwYrGU/s320/6799228312_3c16d a55e4_z.jpg • • 6IsEorrdUK0/TkKAtPwTA9I/AAAAAAAAAMw/T_Yvh0LpIwM/s1600/sloth+eating+carr ot.jpg •