Sloths in Costa Rica: Rough Outline

This topic submitted by Rachel Rutherford ( at 2:02 PM on 3/16/04.

This foursome explored Lighthouse Cave on San Salvador, Bahamas. See other beautiful phenomena from the Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

I plan do do research on and eventually give a presentation on sloths. Sloths are found in Costa Rica as well as in many other countries. Their lifestyle as well as behavior are very interesting and they are an integral part of the ecosystems in which they are found. They are also essential to the existance of other species as will be hilighted in my research paper. I have always been interested in and intrigued by sloths, their niche, and why they are so slow. Finding out why they are so important to their surrounding environments is one of my chief goals for this assignment.


I. General characteristics
A. Two types
B. Range
C. General Physical Characteristics
II. Habitat
A. Temperature
B. Resources
C. Niche/Placement within forest
III. Behavior/Habits
A. Movement
B. Feeding
C. Sleeping
IV. Reproduction
A. Reproduction
B. Life Span
C. Social Structure


1) Gilmore DP, Da Costa CP, Duarte DP. “Sloth biology: an update on their physiological ecology, behavior and role as vectors of arthropods and arboviruses.” Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Vol. 34, pp.9-25 2001.

2) Young, O.P. “The Utilization of Sloth Dung in a Neotropical Forest Panama, Uroxys gorgon, Notiobia parilis.” The Coleopterist bulletin. Pp.427 1981.

3) Sreekumar, P. G.; Balakrishnan, M. “Seed dispersal by the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in South India.” Biotropica, v. 34 issue 3, 2002, p. 474-477.

4) Joshi, Anup R.; Smith, James L.D.; Garshelis, David L. “Sociobiology of the myrmecophagous sloth bear in Nepal.” Canadian Journal of Zoology, v. 77 issue 11, 1999, p. 1690-1704.

5) Chiarello, Adriano G. “Activity budgets and ranging patterns of the Atlantic forest maned sloth Bradypus torquatus (Xenarthra: Bradypodidae).” Journal of Zoology (London), v. 246 issue 1, 1998, p. 1-10.

6) Joshi, Anup R.; Garshelis, David L.; Smith, James L. D. “Seasonal and habitat-related diets of sloth bears in Nepal.” Journal of Mammalogy, v. 78 issue 2, 1997, p. 584-597.



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