An update on the physiology of two- and three-toed sloths

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2000 Feb;33(2):129-46. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2000000200001.


Physiological and pharmacological research undertaken on sloths during the past 30 years is comprehensively reviewed. This includes the numerous studies carried out upon the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, anesthesia, blood chemistry, neuromuscular responses, the brain and spinal cord, vision, sleeping and waking, water balance and kidney function and reproduction. Similarities and differences between the physiology of sloths and that of other mammals are discussed in detail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Male
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sloths / blood
  • Sloths / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology