Sloths sleep or rest for about 20 hours a day (Beebe, 1926). The three-toed sloth is mainly active during the day but can be active at night (Sunquist and Montgomery, 1973)

Sloths are beautifully adapted to arboreal life. Their movements are slow and deliberate as they select the boughs to cling to with great care and safety. 

The species is almost exclusively arboreal, but does move over ground and also swims well. The sloth is capable of moving distances of several miles, travel that may require moving across ground and swimming rivers (Gardner, 2007).

It is a mistaken idea that sloths spend all of their lives upside-down. When travelling and feeding, they do hang suspended, but quite as often they are climbing or clinging on vertical stems, or actually sitting down, as when asleep (Beebe, 1926).


With the exception of mother-young pairs, Bradypus tridactylus are usually solitary and exhibit aggressive behaviour when confined together in captivity (Gardner, 2007).