Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Sloth'
- a disinclination to work or exert yourself [syn: slothfulness]
- any of several slow-moving arboreal mammals of South America and Central America; they hang from branches back downward and feed on leaves and fruits [syn: tree sloth]
- apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins) [syn: laziness, acedia]
- Sloth \Sloth\, n. [OE. slouthe, sleuthe, AS. sl?w?, fr. sl[=a]w
slow. See Slow.]
- Slowness; tardiness. These cardinals trifle with me; I abhor This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome. --Shak.
- Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness. [They] change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth. --Milton. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears. --Franklin.
- (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several species of arboreal edentates constituting the family Bradypodid[ae], and the suborder Tardigrada. They have long exserted limbs and long prehensile claws. Both jaws are furnished with teeth (see Illust. of Edentata), and the ears and tail are rudimentary. They inhabit South and Central America and Mexico. Note: The three-toed sloths belong to the genera Bradypus and Arctopithecus, of which several species have been described. They have three toes on each foot. The best-known species are collared sloth (Bradypus tridactylus), and the ai (Arctopitheus ai). The two-toed sloths, consisting the genus Cholopus, have two toes on each fore foot and three on each hind foot. The best-known is the unau (Cholopus didactylus) of South America. See Unau. Another species (C. Hoffmanni}) inhabits Central America. Various large extinct terrestrial edentates, such as Megatherium and Mylodon, are often called sloths. Australian, or Native sloth (Zo["o]l.), the koala. Sloth animalcule (Zo["o]l.), a tardigrade. Sloth bear (Zo["o]l.), a black or brown long-haired bear (Melursus ursinus, or labiatus), native of India and Ceylon; -- called also aswail, labiated bear, and
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Sloth'
Bradypodidae Megalonychidae †Megatheriidae †Mylodontidae †Nothrotheriidae †Orophodontidae †Scelidotheriidae
Sloths are the six species of medium-sized mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. They are arboreal residents of the rainforests of Central and South America. The sloth's taxonomic suborder is Folivora, while some call it Phyllophaga. Both names mean "leaf-eaters"; derived from Latin and Greek respectively. Names for the animals used by tribes in Ecuador include Ritto, Rit and Ridette, mostly forms of the word "sleep", "eat" and "dirty" from Tagaeri tribe of Huaorani.
Sloths are classified as folivores as the bulk of their diet consists mostly of buds, tender shoots, and leaves, mainly of Cecropia trees. Some two-toed sloths have been documented as eating insects, small reptiles and birds as a small supplement to their diet. Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth has recently been documented eating human faeces from open latrines. They have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal browsing lifestyle. Leaves, their main food source, provide very little energy or nutrition and do not digest easily. Sloths therefore have very large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the tough leaves. As much as two-thirds of a well-fed sloth's body-weight consists of the contents of its stomach, and the digestive process can take a month or more to complete.[See more about Sloth at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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