Area of zoo
Pink zone
Enclosure status
Population in the wild
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Choloepus didactylus
Central and South America
Tropical forests

Two-toed sloth facts 

Sloths are wonderful mammals with some strange features that really make them stand out. Here are just a few curious facts: 

  • Sloths are the world’s slowest mammal, yet they’re not as lazy as you might think. Sloths sleep for around 15 hours a day while a tiger can nap up to 20 hours a day. 

  • A sloths’ internal organs, such as the heart, spleen, and liver are all arranged to accommodate living upside-down. 

  • Sloths don’t do well on the ground, as their weak hind legs mean they have to pull themselves along. However, their strong long arms make them excellent swimmers. They can even hold their breath for up to 40 minutes.

  • Sloths have grooved fur that allows algae to grow through it. This green tint allows the sloth to blend into its habitat – and provides a tasty afternoon snack. 

  • When threatened, it can slash at predators using its claws to defend to itself. Sloths are themselves a mini eco-system with moths, algae and many other microorganisms growing in their fur, providing them with advanced camouflage. 

What do two-toed sloths look like?  

The two-toed sloth, named because of the two long claws it possesses on its forelimbs, has long, course, caramel and cream-coloured hair.  

Adult sloth hanging from a tree at London Zoo
Adult sloth holding onto a branch in Rainforest Life at London Zoo

Where can I see a two-toed sloth at London Zoo? 

Rainforest Life is home to a family of two-toed sloths, Marilyn and Leander, and baby Nova.

ZSL's conservation work with sloths

There's a small group of tiny pygmy three-toed sloths, which are Critically Endangered, living on the uninhabited Escudo island in Panama. A team of conservationists from ZSL are surveying the species to build a picture of how these little-known animals are faring. 

What two-toed sloths eat? 

Leaves, twigs and fruit. 

Two-toed sloth habitat 

In rainforest trees. 

Where do two-toed sloths live? 

In the Amazon basin to Venezuela.

How long do two-toed sloths live for?  

Up to 40 years. 

See a two-toed sloth at London Zoo

Marilyn the sloth at London Zoo


Book your ticket now to see a two-toed sloth at London Zoo

Animals at Rainforest Life

  • Tamandua at Rainforest Life London Zoo
    Tamandua tetradactyla


    Tamanduas are a small species of anteater, which have massive tongues growing up to 40cm in length.

  • Red titi monkey at Rainforest Life London Zoo
    Callicebus cupreu

    Red titi monkey

    These monkeys mate for life and the male is the main childcare provider, carrying the infant on their back.

  • Round-eared sengi
    Macroscelides proboscideus


    Although sengis look like rodents, they are actually more closely related to elephants!

  • Red-faced spider monkey at London zoo
    Ateles paniscus paniscus

    Red-faced spider monkey

    Spider monkeys have a patch of skin on their tail, almost like a palm, which helps them to grip like it's a fifth hand.

  • See all our animals!
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