What's The Slowest Land Mammal?


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Ebony Nash Profile
Ebony Nash answered
There are roughly 4260 known mammals currently inhabiting planet earth, with a vast difference in the range of speeds they can travel. Speeds range from 60 mph (96 kph) all the way down to 0.15 mph (0.24 kph). At the top end of the scale is the cheetah, which can hit that speed for short periods of times whereas the slowest land mammal according to science is the three-toed sloth, at the 0.15 mph maximum.
The three-toed sloth is a tree-dwelling mammal with four living species, all inhabiting South and Central America. Very similar in appearance to the two-toed sloth it is not genetically close to its faster moving cousin. Although sluggish in trees and on the ground, where they drag themselves along, using their long arms and claws to pull themselves along, they surprisingly are much more agile in water.
If a person is called a sloth by another, suggesting they are lazy, it is probably because the three-toed sloth sleeps for 18 hours a day, almost its entire life. Living in the trees, this animal hangs upside-down to sleep, which ensures it is kept away from most predators that would try to hunt it if it slept on the ground. Its greenish colour, which is not pigmentation but is due to algae that commonly grows on its fur, also helps camouflage the mammal from predators, resembling a bunch of leaves when still or asleep.
It is not safe from every predator, however. The Harpy Eagle preys on the sloth when it is high in the trees and it would make quite a meal for a bird, being the size of a small dog or large cat.
Girija Naiksatam Profile
The three toed sloth is considered to be the slowest land mammal. Its scientific name is Bradypus tridactylus and it is found in the tropical regions of the South American continent. It can travel up to 6 to 8' every minute, which if converted would work up to 0.006 to 0.1 mph. If it is in the trees, it can increase its speed to a maximum of 15' per minute or up to 0.17 mph. Sloths move from one tree to another while hanging up side down attaching themselves to the branches and sometimes, can even sleep in this position. Owing to their speed, they are, however a common prey for various predators, but among their defense mechanisms are their hook lie sharp claws. Sloths are also considered to be, quick swimmers and their coat of fur is such that it allows for quick movement through water.

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