THE SLOTH

Planet earth is uniue in all the universe for its abundance and variety of animals, every one of which should be protected

 

 

 

Pongo loves a nap in the morning, afternoon and most of the evening. He smells worse than the droppings of other animals, which is why they tend to leave him alone. His diet consists of a leaf for breakfast, a leaf for lunch and two leaves before bedtime. He's a cool dude - mainly because his movements are so slow, his muscles generate no heat.

 

 

Sloths are members of the superorder Xenarthra, a group of mammals that appeared in South America about 60 million years ago (Mya), although at least one source puts the date at which sloths and related animals broke off from other placental mammals at about 100 Mya. Also included among the Xenarthra are anteaters and armadillos. The earliest xenarthrans were arboreal herbivores with sturdy spines, fused pelvises, stubby teeth, and small brains.

 

Sloths are medium-sized mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae (two-toed sloth) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloth), classified into six species. They are part of the order Pilosa and are therefore related to anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws. Extant sloths are arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America, and are known for being slow-moving, and hence named "sloths". Extinct sloth species include many ground sloths, some of which attained the size of elephants.

Sloths make a good habitat for other organisms, and a single sloth may be home to moths, beetles, cockroaches, ciliates, fungi, and algae.

The living sloths belong to one of two families, known as the Megalonychidae ("two-toed" sloths) and the Bradypodidae (three-toed sloths). All living sloths have in fact three toes; the "two-toed" sloths, however, have only two fingers. Two-toed sloths are generally faster-moving than three-toed sloths. Both types tend to occupy the same forests; in most areas, one species of three-toed sloth and one species of the larger two-toed type will jointly predominate.

However, their adaptations belie the actual relationships of the living sloth genera, which are more distant from each other than their outward similarity suggests. The common ancestor of the two genera apparently lived 3540 Mya, making the living forms stunning examples of convergent or parallel evolution. The two-toed sloths of today are far more closely related to one particular group of ground sloths than to the living three-toed sloths. Whether these ground-dwelling Megalonychidae were descended from tree-climbing ancestors or whether the two-toed sloths are really miniature ground sloths converted (or reverted) to arboreal life cannot presently be determined to satisfaction. The latter possibility seems slightly more likely, because the small ground sloths Acratocnus and Neocnus, which were also able to climb, are among the closer relatives of the two-toed sloths, and these together were related to the huge ground sloths Megalonyx and Megalocnus.

The evolutionary history of the three-toed sloths is not well known. No particularly close relatives, ground-dwelling or not, have yet been identified.

The ground sloths do not constitute a monophyletic group. Rather, they make up a number of lineages, and as far as is known, until the Holocene, most sloths were in fact ground-dwellers. The famous Megatherium, for example, belonged to a lineage of ground sloths that was not very close to the living sloths and their ground-living relatives, like the small Neocnus or the massive Megalonyx. Meanwhile, Mylodon, among the last ground sloths to disappear, was only very distantly related to either of these.

 

 

SLOTH LINKS

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloth

 

 

 

Baby Sloth  - Youtube

 

BBC Documentary - Youtube

 

 

 

 

POPULAR MAMMALS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

A taste for adventure capitalists

 

 

Solar Cola - a healthier alternative

 

 

OTHER ANIMALS:

 

AMPHIBIANS  

Such as frogs (class: Amphibia)

ANNELIDS  

As in Earthworms (phyla: Annelida)

ANTHROPOLOGY

Neanderthals, Homo Erectus (Extinct)

ARACHNIDS  

Spiders (class: Arachnida)

BIRDS  

Such as Eagles, Albatross (class: Aves)

CETACEANS 

such as Whales & Dolphins ( order:Cetacea)

CRUSTACEANS  

such as crabs (subphyla: Crustacea)

DINOSAURS

Tyranosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus (Extinct)

ECHINODERMS  

As in Starfish (phyla: Echinodermata)

FISH

Sharks, Tuna (group: Pisces)

HUMANS - MAN

Homo Sapiens  THE BRAIN

INSECTS

Ants, (subphyla: Uniramia class: Insecta)

LIFE ON EARTH

Which includes PLANTS non- animal life

MAMMALS

Warm blooded animals (class: Mammalia)

MARSUPIALS 

Such as Kangaroos (order: Marsupialia)

MOLLUSKS  

Such as octopus (phyla: Mollusca)

PLANTS

Trees -

PRIMATES  

Gorillas, Chimpanzees (order: Primates)

REPTILES

As in Crocodiles, Snakes (class: Reptilia)

RODENTS

such as Rats, Mice (order: Rodentia)

SIMPLE LIFE FORMS

As in Amoeba, plankton (phyla: protozoa)

 

 

 

Artwork by Martin House for the John Storm adventure novel series

 

A heartwarming adventure: Pirate whalers V Conservationists, 

with an environmental message.

Planned for release as an e-book in 2014 with hopes for a film in 2015 TBA

 

 

 

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