Sloth Metabolic Rate

Sloth Metabolic Rate

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At the Sloth Sanctuary we have discovered that sloths have the slowest digestive rate of any mammal, but the true metabolic rate remains unknown. We now have a new, exciting project underway that will hopefully shed some light on this. We are collaborating with Swansea University and Professor Rory Wilson to undertake a series of respirometry trials on some of our captive sloths. This harmless procedure involves monitoring the rates of carbon dioxide production and oxygen consumption for sloths in a variety of conditions (sleeping, climbing, resting etc.) to determine how much energy they are expending. We are also investigating the caloric energy value of the sloths’ diet through a process of bomb-calorimetry. These projects will give us a great understanding of how sloths are managing their very limited energy supply.