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January 22 2014

Why Sloths Leave the Trees to Poop


Sloths are the quintessential couch potatoes of the rainforest, and these sluggish tree-dwellers also serve as a hotel for moths and algae.

Three-toed sloths descend from the trees once a week to defecate, providing a breeding ground for moths that live in the animals' fur and nourishing gardens of algae that supplement the sloths' diet, new research finds. Leaving the trees burns energy and makes sloths easy prey for predators, but the benefits of a richer diet appear to be worth the perils.

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