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Some things you may not have known about Sloths

slothby María Pía Martín, DVM

The sloths are part of the Xenartha order which also includes anteaters and armadillos. This bizarre order is only found in Central and South America. They are different from all other animals in that they have an unusual lower back vertebrae and two vena cava (returns blood to the heart, the other mammals have only one).

Evolution

They are some of the most ancient mammals and have been on Earth for more than 60 million years ago. For example, they are so primitive that their reproductive and digestive tract open into a single chamber called cloaca, like birds and reptiles.

At the beginning, the Megatherium were 6 meters (20 feet) tall giant ground sloths.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Saving Shells

by Janine Licare, Founder and Spokesperson KSTR

The art of shell collecting dates back thousands of years.  Over time, shells have been used as currency, treasures and game pieces to different civilizations. In present times, shell collecting has led to the birth of conchologists, malacologists, among other words rarely used in the English language. The OCD reaction some might have towards picking up shells and storing them on their balcony or in vases in their living room is leading to a shortage in adequate sized homes for small sea creatures. Shells provide shelter to invertebrate animals with no mechanism of protection or self-defense.  Every so often these creatures trade homes depending on how fast they out-grow their current homes. Those beautiful shells you keep on your shelves are actually the dead carcasses of sea creatures. When clams, oysters, starfish and mollusks die, their shells wash up on the beach with the tides and are taken as a shelter to those who do not have the mechanisms to create them themselves.Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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