Fast Facts, Slow Animals

Survival of the Slowest, the new exhibit opening Feb. 15, proves that being slow, small or weak sometimes can be an advantage. Here are some fast facts about the animals in the exhibit to back that up.

Did you know that most slow animals, including sloths, use camouflage to avoid predation? You don’t have to run away if you can’t be seen! Other slowpokes, such as tortoises, lionfish and porcupines, have evolved armor and/or venom to deter attack.

Sloths actually grow algae on their fur, which helps conceal them in their leafy environment.

Being nocturnal helps sloths avoid their main predator—the Harpy Eagle, a daytime hunter.

Sloths’ extreme slowness makes them very vulnerable on the ground.

And now let’s take a break for a snack.

There are only two reasons a sloth will leave a tree: to find a mate and to poop.

Sloths have the lowest relative muscle mass of any mammal. Only 25% of a sloth’s body mass is muscle, compared to 40% in humans and 58% in lions.

Iguanas can run quickly if needed, but they prefer to conserve energy and rely on camouflage to remain in trees.

Horned Frogs from central South America live in dry areas. To avoid drying out, they form a cocoon of shed skin that locks in moisture.

Scientists believe chameleons change color to reflect their moods.

Sloths make great comfy chairs.

Survival of the Slowest is on view through Sept. 20, 2020. But why wait? Get your tickets online now.

Images by Mike Servedio/ANS

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