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Breaking news - sloths are not slothful

Not so fast, Mr Sloth. From The Telegraph:

The sloth has earned an unfair reputation for laziness and does not sleep for nearly as long as first thought, scientists have discovered.

In the first scientific study of sleep in wild animals, researchers found the sloth only sleeps for nine and a half hours a day, six hours fewer than previously thought.

The animal, which spends much of its time hanging from the canopy of the rainforest in South and Central America and eating leaves, was believed to get at least 16 hours sleep a day.

Scientists monitored the sloth’s sleeping pattern using two sensors on a hat to pick up signals from the brain to show when the animal was sleeping and when it was chewing.


The team found that sloths in captivity slept for nearly 16 hours while those in the wild slept for just nine and a half hours.

From the leading article:

Perhaps, inside, the sloth has been seething with indignation at the calumny against its character. In which case, it might instead be called the wrath. Certainly it shows few signs to justify a redesignation as the lust. Names stick, though. To vary the proverb: give a sloth a bad name and hang it. Except, in the case of the undemanding sloth, hanging is already something of a speciality.

In other news, an octogenarian mayfly comforts an infertile rabbit.

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