Isla Escudo de Veraguas
Length, 48.5-53 cm; tail, 4.6-6 cm
In and near the red mangrove forests on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, the oldest and most remote island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago
Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Panama
Sloth is a virtue. It is for the pygmy three-toed sloth, anyway, as the little tree dweller's inactivity helps it escape the notice of predators. Algae that sometimes coats its fur adds another level of camouflage. The slow-as-molasses sloth can move quickly when threatened, but generally expands no more energy than is necessary to hang around all day eating leaves. Confined to one remote island that separated from Panama long ago, this smaller cousin of mainland sloths has managed to quietly survive so far, but any disruption to its habitat could have huge consequences. The hustle and bustle of development could well be the end of it.