Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:March 2016
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A slow-moving, arboreal, edentate mammal classified in the order Pilosa. Sloths differ from all other mammals by having additional articulations (xenarthrales) between their lumbar vertebrae (called xenarthrous vertebrae). They also have a double rather than a single inferior vena cava, the vein that returns blood from the posterior portion of the body to the heart. The dental formula is I 0/0, C 0/0, Pm 0/0, M 5/4 × 2, for a total of 18 teeth, which grow throughout life. Females have a primitive, divided uterus and a common urinary and genital tract; males have internal testes. See also: Dentition; Edentata; Mammalia
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