Thread Tools
Old 01-08-2015, 10:56 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 7,465
Can Sloths Move Fast? (if they wanted to)

So on the Grantland NFL Podcast did a silly question of "Which animal could play QB with Peyton Manning's Brain." One of the guys said Sloth, because it would be funny.

It's funny because of the obvious thoguht of "well no, Sloths are slow and couldn't throw the ball" But that lead me to think, why are sloths so slow?

If it wanted to, COULD it move fast? If Peyton's brain was in this thing, could he make it move fast? Is there something with a Sloth's biology that won't allow it's muscles to move in a quick manner?

If I had to guess I would say they couldn't move fast because of something with their energy consumption/metabolism
Old 01-08-2015, 01:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 28,728
The Internets say a two-toed sloth can run 0.17 mph, and that sloths in danger* can cover 15 feet in a minute, which is relatively blinding speed.

*band name!
Old 01-08-2015, 01:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
The Internets say a two-toed sloth can run 0.17 mph, and that sloths in danger* can cover 15 feet in a minute, which is relatively blinding speed.

*band name!
Those two rates are equal; 15 feet per minute is 0.17 miles per hour.

Just sayin'.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:15 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 16,929
You have to wonder what could both put a sloth in mortal peril and yet not be able to move faster than 15 feet per minute.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:35 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 7,465
See, now I'm curious as to why

How is a sloth's muscle structure so different that it (presumably) literally can't go fast than that?
Old 01-08-2015, 01:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,445
Need answer fast?

Old 01-08-2015, 01:43 PM
Horrified Onlooker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
You have to wonder what could both put a sloth in mortal peril and yet not be able to move faster than 15 feet per minute.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Need answer fast?

Well done!
Old 01-08-2015, 02:19 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,856
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
You have to wonder what could both put a sloth in mortal peril and yet not be able to move faster than 15 feet per minute.
An incoming tide perhaps?
Old 01-08-2015, 04:23 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
An incoming tide perhaps?
A sloth is going to need a bigger boat.
Old 01-08-2015, 04:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 5,952
I seem to recall that their lack of speed has to do with their diet and the relative atrophy of their muscles from just sitting around all day...but I know someone will have a much better (and better supported) answer than my wild half-rememberings.
Old 01-08-2015, 04:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 603
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poysyn View Post
I seem to recall that their lack of speed has to do with their diet and the relative atrophy of their muscles from just sitting around all day...but I know someone will have a much better (and better supported) answer than my wild half-rememberings.
If that's so, could you take a captive sloth and feed it better nutritionally and then make it work out so it's faster?
Old 01-08-2015, 05:00 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N/W Arkansas
Posts: 8,153
Might need to give it a pedicure first. Those feet make 4" heels look like 100 meter dash shoes.
Old 01-08-2015, 05:28 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 12,704
Here's a handy link that goes into some detail.

Apparently most of your average sloth's musculature are made up of retractor muscles ( including what would normally be extensor muscles that have been modified into retractor muscles ). This makes them custom-made for clinging to stuff and, with a couple of bone and ligament mods, hanging from things ( like trees ). But utter crap at movement.

In addition they have a low muscle mass just generally relative to mammals of a comparable size.

So, yeah - they simply lack the anatomy to move quickly under any circumstances.
Old 01-08-2015, 05:50 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,041
From wikipedia - they have a low metabolism (including low body temperature), they move only when necessary and even then they move slowly, they sleep up to 18 hours a day, and they have 1/4 the muscle mass of a comparitively sized mammal. Their metabolism is so slow that they only pee/poop once a week.

They're not made for movement. If you fed them easier to digest food and excercised them, you'd get a dispeptic, grumpy sloth that might even be slower than usual. Actually, I'd be interested to see how you'd go about getting them to exercise without damaging them or getting damaged yourself.
Old 01-08-2015, 06:00 PM
Shouting Grasshopper
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 12,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
An incoming tide perhaps?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
A sloth is going to need a bigger boat.
From National Geographic:

Though they couldn't be clumsier on land, sloths are surprisingly good swimmers. They sometimes fall directly from rain forest trees into rivers and stroke efficiently with their long arms.
Old 01-08-2015, 06:17 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 81,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Need answer fast?

Need answer fast. Am being chased by a sloth.
Old 01-10-2015, 08:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
The only animal slower than a sloth is a slower sloth!
Old 01-10-2015, 08:21 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 795
I lived in Panama for 3 years. A sloth lived in the coconut trees out front and a family of monkeys liked to swear at him in their language. One night I came home late and was walking up the long driveway and at first I thought it was a dog that had been hit by a car or similar, but when I looked it was "my" sloth dragging himself along the ground, those claws are longer than my fingers. I leaned towards him to take a pic with my camera. I got close enuff to prove that I had really been that close, but looking at those claws I didn't choose to get close enuff for him to get me just in case he did have the power to make one fast swipe with those claws. So I am weighing here with a very decisive "I don't know!"

Last edited by DingoelGringo; 01-10-2015 at 08:23 PM.
Old 01-10-2015, 09:28 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,856
Hijack ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DingoelGringo View Post
I lived in Panama for 3 years. ...
Me too. I was there with the USAF & US Army from '82 to '85. When, where, & why for you? (if I may be so bold.)

Colibri lives there full time now as a research scientist. AFAIK, we 3 are the only current or former Panamaniacs on the 'Dope.
Old 01-10-2015, 09:54 PM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,562
Two-toed sloths are more active and can move with some speed if provoked. They can take swipes with their forefeet and can bite with their sharp teeth. They require some care in handling. On the other hand, three-toed sloths are generally much more lethargic and can move only slowly.
Old 01-11-2015, 12:06 AM
born to be shunned
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southwestern PA
Posts: 11,724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
See, now I'm curious as to why

How is a sloth's muscle structure so different that it (presumably) literally can't go fast than that?
Not enough muscles for limbs that long? I mean if you look at it from the skeleton out we're clearly not dealing with designed for speed.
Old 01-11-2015, 12:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 24,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSC View Post
The only animal slower than a sloth is a slower sloth!
You don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the sloth being chased by the bear.
Old 01-11-2015, 01:13 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Barsoom
Posts: 3,756
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSC View Post
The only animal slower than a sloth is a slower sloth!
And the only thing slower than that is a debauched sloth.
Old 01-14-2015, 10:58 AM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,966
Will no one think of the sloth children?!?
Old 01-15-2015, 02:20 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 7,657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
. . . they sleep up to 18 hours a day . . .
Some recent research calls that number into question, ("Sloth's Lazy Image a Myth"), though they might have been looking at a different kind of sloth.
Old 01-15-2015, 02:33 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by kopek View Post
Not enough muscles for limbs that long? I mean if you look at it from the skeleton out we're clearly not dealing with designed for speed.
This image of a sloth skeleton actually reveals something else of note: If they were walking, they'd effectively be using the sides of their hands and feet, not the soles/palms. If I had to run away from a sloth using that same posture, it just might beat me.

(Also, looking at that picture, is anyone thinking that we need a zombie sloth movie now? What untapped potential!)
Old 01-15-2015, 09:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 28,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carryon View Post
If that's so, could you take a captive sloth and feed it better nutritionally and then make it work out so it's faster?
They were going to make a Sloth Workout Video but couldn't find any music slow enough.
Old 01-15-2015, 09:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 9,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
And the only thing slower than that is a debauched sloth.
Actually, a debauched sloth appears to move faster, if only to experience more debauchery:

Quote:
More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem. After this, as soon as the drum had beat the retreat, the sloth would meet him, hurrying toward the door on its uneven legs
Old 01-15-2015, 09:55 AM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,966
Before Disney bought him out, I hear Lucas was considering a Star Wars sequel: Wroth Sloth on Hoth.
Old 01-15-2015, 09:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 5,549
“Jack, you've debauched my sloth.”
― Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

Jack had actually got it drunk.
Old 01-15-2015, 01:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: austin tx usa
Posts: 34,494
Two sloths in a bar got into a fight and killed each other.

The police came and asked "What happened here?"

The bartender said, "I don't know; it all happened so fast."
Old 01-15-2015, 02:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 9,876
Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Two sloths in a bar got into a fight and killed each other.

The police came and asked "What happened here?"

The bartender said, "I don't know; it all happened so fast."
Isn't the bartender supposed to be a snail or a turtle?
Old 01-15-2015, 03:38 PM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,966
Q: What does a snail on the back of a turtle say?
A: "Wheee!"
Old 01-15-2015, 10:46 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Two-toed sloths are more active and can move with some speed if provoked. They can take swipes with their forefeet and can bite with their sharp teeth. They require some care in handling. On the other hand, three-toed sloths are generally much more lethargic and can move only slowly.
Any idea why they are not all dead, Colibri?
Are they less delicious than monkeys, or something?

For a jaguar or a harpy, they can't even move fast enough to provide a dangerous response, can they?
Old 01-15-2015, 11:21 PM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Any idea why they are not all dead, Colibri?
Are they less delicious than monkeys, or something?

For a jaguar or a harpy, they can't even move fast enough to provide a dangerous response, can they?
They're quite hard to see; in fact I don't often see them even though they are probably the most common medium sized animal in the tropical forest. When they are sleeping, they look like a big ball of dead moss or other vegetation, especially since the algae that grows on their fur often makes them look greenish. Even when they're awake, they move so slowly they don't attract attention.

They're usually on branches too small for a jaguar to climb, although margays can reach them. Harpy eagles are their main predators, but harpies are rare and have been hunted out in many areas. And for a harpy to catch one, it has to be fairly exposed. If it's tucked up in the branches a harpy won't be able to get at it.
Old 01-15-2015, 11:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Barsoom
Posts: 3,756
I remember reading an account of someone who was caring for a sloth for some reason. She was worried because (I'm not sure how she noticed) it wouldn't urinate. However, once it was sprayed with water it let go. The theory was that sloths only piss when it rains lest the piss give away their location to predators.
Old 01-16-2015, 12:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 24,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
I remember reading an account of someone who was caring for a sloth for some reason. She was worried because (I'm not sure how she noticed) it wouldn't urinate. However, once it was sprayed with water it let go. The theory was that sloths only piss when it rains lest the piss give away their location to predators.
Hee. I'm picturing a sloth enclosure where it's like in the produce section -- periodically "Stand back, spray of water is about to be released".
Old 01-16-2015, 12:50 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 6,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Two-toed sloths are more active and can move with some speed if provoked. They can take swipes with their forefeet and can bite with their sharp teeth. They require some care in handling. On the other hand, three-toed sloths are generally much more lethargic and can move only slowly.
I guess the weight of the extra toe really slows them down?
Old 01-16-2015, 03:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Alaska
Posts: 829
True Facts about Sloths'es.
Per the video on average sloths can move up to 3 feet per minute, which is an impressive 3 FPM faster than a dead sloth. Funny stuff if you have a couple minutes and the video series is just as funny.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XrUM...w6h05&index=20
Old 01-16-2015, 06:53 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 671
Gotta thank you guys for the references explaining sloths in detail. I've been fascinated by these creatures for a long time, but missed the details on exactly why they are the way they are, especially their slowness. They evolved to hang in trees and act like the background to avoid predators. Who needs to move much with that great ability? I finally understand their slow, weird walking (or crawling really) on land. They are cute, weird looking creatures, but I would hesitate to hold one given all the bugs reportedly in their fur. Plus those claws
Old 01-16-2015, 06:57 PM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,966
I don't find them disgusting or anything, but I am not attracted to or fascinated by them in the least. They're just... there.
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:31 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: deer tibia bone does magnesium rust franky says relax nekkid wimmen greeter jobs denture discussion boards gasoline plastic trimps guide gunshot movie sulfur for uti hood deflector purpose richard foreal naruto themed wedding maori pronunciation twitter message board differences in cigarettes gal friday origin dvd versions she's dead jim income averaging 2015 mj12 commando jury duty milwaukee aluminum free antiperspirants 6x6 cameras does champagne expire uncut show alabama mens clinic call from nigeria surnames mongabay compact disc diameter foot shaker sara lee motto girl friday definition cartoon etymology make paint thicker stinky bathroom sink drain cheesy smell behind ears can you bail yourself out do mice eat roaches do you tip shuttle drivers quinn dexter weight loss can i get cash back on a credit card purchase outlook gmail less secure app why does the top of my feet itch so bad if you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding lots of toilet paper songs with the word sunshine in the title what is a glow up rhonda from that 70s show empire state building view from 102 floor moving to israel as a non jew hells angels jacket for sale where is steam game data stored evil monologues for males why are anime dvds so expensive old world book encyclopedias worth anything converter hdmi to coaxial honeywell heat on flashing why is my fire alarm going off for no reason what does maru mean in english what does sc mean in movie ratings walgreens medicine return policy does ibuprofen work for toothaches heat shields on cars should i subscribe to the new yorker how to clean paper air filter