How Long Can A Sloth Hold Its Breath (And Why)?

How Long Can A Sloth Hold Its Breath (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 40 minutes

These mammals are good at reducing their heartbeat by about one-third of the normal heartbeat. Sloths are good at swimming and can hold their breath for around 40 minutes underwater. These mammals are good at keeping their habits. They don’t go to the bathroom every day but once a week. They remember the exact spot of the bathroom and use it all the time. These slow mammals host the growth of fungi and algae on their body.

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How Long Can A Sloth Hold Its Breath?

Sloth (Breath Holding Time)How Long Can A Sloth Hold Its Breath
Minimum breath holding time20 minutes
Maximum breath holding time40 minutes

Sloths are filled with many skills, and one of them is their breath-holding capacity. Mainly, the breath-holding skills are utilized by sloths while underwater. Sloths are better at holding their breath for a long time than dolphins. The dolphin can hold its breath for around 10 minutes, whereas the sloth can for up to 40 minutes.

This is because mammals (sloths) are amazing at managing their heartbeat. The mammals are brilliant swimmers and can be called water mammals. All the sloths are able to move their head entirely in 360 degrees. Sloth love their space and would not mind anyone not engaged with them.

The nails of sloths are extremely long around 4 inches, and these make them more eye-catchy. Many experts tagged sloth’s nails as finger bones. Sloth doesn’t have great eyesight, and they use their long protruding nails (finger bones) to improve their touch sense. The mammals are more into quiet solitude and hate disturbances.

The sloth is seen with another sloth, mainly when they are mating or sleeping in the same tree. These mammals can survive for around 40 years. There are many other unknown facts about the sloths and these are:

The sloth would swim faster than it can walk on land.
The digestive system of the sloth is extremely slow.
The fur of these mammals can be used for some professional drug-making work according to the experts. This is because of the fungi growth that may help in fighting parasites and cancer.

Why Can A Sloth Hold Its Breath For This Long?

The sloth can lower their heartbeat while underwater, and this can improve their breath-holding capacity. When anybody tries to hold their breath suddenly for a long time, it will decrease the heart rate. This is the reason many animals and humans fail to hold their breath for a long time. As not everyone can handle a lower heart rate, and sometimes it can cause death.

The sloth comes with an extraordinary capacity to slowly pump their heart even in very little oxygen. Sloths are good at the lower cardiac output that will help in long breath-holding. The sloth can also control blood pressure in all situations. Therefore, their blood pressure adjusts accordingly when they hold their breath for a long time without any hindrance.

People can find sloths in Costa Rice where they enjoy their peaceful habitats. Holding sloths or keeping them as a pet is not a good idea. These sloths are very quiet but can get violent to humans. As they love being in their lonely space and people trying to touch them can make these quiet mammals attack the humans.

If someone is trying to hold a sloth, then it can rapidly increase its heartbeat. This situation is not good for the health of sloths.


The life of a sloth runs quite slow, as compared to other animals. Giant ground sloth loves avocados and is stronger than humans. The digestive issues of sloths are huge and they won’t be able to digest a single leaf in a few days but would take around 30 days. The sloth would be capable to save energy by controlling their body temperature properly.

These mammals cannot get injured easily, even if they fall from 100 feet. The breath-holding capacity of sloth is rarely seen in any other animal.



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