Newly recognised species of sloth has a head like a coconut

Maned sloths were thought to be one species but a genetic and physical analysis suggests there are actually two

Life 28 September 2022

A sloth with a coconutty head

The newly identified species of sloth

Suelen_Sanches

The world has one more sloth species in it than previously thought. Maned sloths live in a small belt of forest in Brazil and an analysis now suggests those in the south are a different species from those found farther north.

Three-toed sloths were conventionally thought to be divided into four species. One – the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) – sports a thatch of coarse, brown hair, making the head resemble a husked coconut.

But there were hints that not all maned sloths were alike, says Daniel …

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