Scientists think sloths’ extreme slowness helps them survive. The forest is full of predators like jaguars and hawks. But those animals have a hard time spotting sloths in the treetops. Tiny plant-like organisms called algae grow on sloths’ fur. That gives them a green tint and helps them blend in.
Unfortunately, sloths’ habitat is disappearing. People are cutting down the trees to make room for buildings and roads. On the ground, sloths are often attacked by dogs or run over by cars. “Sloths now face a lot of new dangers because of humans,” says Sam Trull. She’s the founder of the Sloth Institute, an organization that rescues sloths that have been affected by deforestation. It’s Trull’s mission to keep these slowpokes safe.