Yesterday, Claire El Mouden @ClaireElMouden posted about the astonishing relationship between sloths, moths and algae. She makes a very complex paper that starts with the terrifying sentence "Arboreal herbivory is rare among mammals." exciting and interesting to us mortals.
I was sufficiently taken by what she wrote that I thought to share my new-found wisdom over supper. Unfortunately, Katinka, my 9 year-old rather deflated me by pointing out that the sloths we saw in a small and beautifully maintained reserve in Panama City were not green.
This morning Katinka wrote an email to the Smithsonian with a link to Claire's post suggesting that they stop cleaning up after the sloths in Punta Culebra. I'm not sure this email will have a huge effect but Katinka is now active in conservation. And that's HUGE!
Sloths have algae growing in their fur - fact. Sloths risk predation by always coming down from the trees to poo in the same place - fact. Now this new paper suggests that the reason they poo like this is that their poo heap is the perfect place for a certain small moth to lay its eggs