In the world of animal traffic court, you will never see a sloth getting a citation for going too fast. They are the slowest of slow creatures. They are so slow that anyone who lacks speed runs the risk of being labeled a “sloth.” Just how slow are they? Read on and see.
Sloths are at their slowest when on the ground. This is because they lack the muscle mass of creatures comparable to their size. Various sources have clocked them from a top speed of 0.54 meters per second, down to a low of 0.025 meters per second.
To put that in terms a bit easier to understand, 0.025 meters per second equates to 0.056 miles per hour or a whopping 1.34 miles per week. This assumes, of course, that the sloth doesn’t pause for a snack, nap, or anything else during that week.
One week is a good amount of time to consider when it comes to sloths. As it turns out, that’s how often they tend to go between bowel movements. The sloth’s sluggishness extends to its digestive system; it can take as much as a month for food to work its way from the sloth’s mouth to the other end. Once a week, the sloth makes the slow, perilous journey from its tree to the ground. Once there, it goes through an arduous ordeal, as it expels as much as one-third of its body weight in its weekly expulsion of body waste.
If you see a sloth on the ground, it is, in all likelihood, because it is looking for a good place to use as a toilet. If that makes you squeamish, you should run away. Well, walk away, at least. As you can see from this video, the prospect of being chased by a sloth isn’t exactly terrifying.
Read more fun facts about speed.
Read more fun facts about animals.
.025 meter per sec = 0.05592341 mph