A new species of three-toed sloth (Mammalia: Xenarthra) from Panama, with a review of the genus Bradypus
Anderson, R.P. and Handley, C.O., 2001. A new species of three-toed sloth (Mammalia: Xenarthra) from Panama, with a review of the genus Bradypus. Proceedings-Biological Society of Washington, 114(1), pp.1-33.
Morphological and morphometric analyses of three-toed sloths (Bradypus) from the islands of Bocas del Toro reveal rapid differentiation of several populations during the Holocene. These islands, lying off the Caribbean coast of western Panamá, were separated from the adjacent mainland by rising sea levels during the past 10,000 years. The sequence of island formation and the approximate ages of the islands are known. In at least four independent events, sloths on five of the islands evolved smaller size following insularization. Sloths on the younger islands remain conspecific with mainland populations of Bradypus variegatus. On Isla Escudo de Veraguas-the oldest and most remote island of the archipelago-however, the three-toed sloth has differentiated to the species level, and we here describe it as Bradypus pygmaeus. We provide updated diagnoses
Key words: Bradypus, ecology, biology, physiology, metabolism, diet, evolution