< >
The three-toed brown-necked sloth, "Bradypus variegatus", must evolve as its home, the Amazon rainforest, changes into a savannah over millions of years. First, sloths will have to start walking plantigrade on the ground. In the savanna, there aren’t enough trees where it can camouflage, which is a sloth’s only defense, and it must avoid predators by moving and using sharper claws. In order for sloths to walk, a sloth’s feet and muscles would have to greatly develop because it would walk on its front knuckles, like its closest relatives, anteaters. Sloths also must expand their diet with more animals for greater walking energy. Sloths’ fur would also stay short to keep cooler in intense sunlight and would change color to a lighter shade in order to better camouflage in the savannah. Present sloths would never survive in the savannah, but, in the future, "Bradypus novgatus" might have a fighting chance.