Newborn brown-throated sloth with mother, Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica
© Suzi Eszterhas/Minden Picture
Hello, World!. New beginnings
Spring means more than just April showers and May flowers. It's also the season when many baby animals are born. The rainy, warmer days bring new plant growth, which means nursing and foraging moms can provide their newborns with larger amounts of higher-quality food. It also maximizes the 'growing season' for spring babies, giving them time to increase in size and put on fat before winter arrives.But consider our brown-throated sloth baby (and yes, a newborn sloth is called a baby). It was probably born sometime in late summer, not spring. That’s because these sloths live in the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, which is just north of the equator, where the change in seasons isn’t as pronounced as in the higher latitudes. That means that here in the rainforest, no matter when the baby sloth is born, there will be lots of tough, rubbery leaves for the baby to eat once it stops nursing. And even though a baby sloth is fully weaned after just a few weeks, it will continue to cling to its mother’s fur for five months or more after birth.