How Sloths Went From the Seas to the Trees

  • Published on: 28 November 2018
  • The story of sloths is one of astounding ecological variability, with some foraging in the seas, others living underground, and others still hiding from predators in towering cliffs. So why are their only living relatives in the trees?

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for allowing us to use few sloth reconstructions! Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at and

    And thanks as always to Franz Anthony and everyone at for their great paleoart.

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:

    Katie Fichtner, Aldo Espinosa Zúñiga, Anthony Callaghan, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, الخليفي سلطان, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Anel Salas, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, John Vanek, Jose Garcia, Noah offitzer, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Sapjes, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan

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  • Runtime : 12:21
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history sloths Peru Xenarthra anteater armadillo giant sloths Patagonia herbivore Thalassocnus Shasta Ground Sloth basal metabolism Lestodon Diabolotherium Nematherium Hapalops Megalonyx Bradypus Choloepus two-toed three-toed sea cliffs trees


  • Kairi Suzuki
    Kairi Suzuki   4 hours ago

    This is actually my favorite episode of PBS Eons because it has completely changed my view of animals.I learned that sloths are weird animals that have thrived in rainforests, caves, and even shallow waters by utilizing their versatile forearms and their ability to live on every kind of plants. Essentially “sloths” are NOT restricted to being suspensory.

  • KommanderChopp'ard
    KommanderChopp'ard   21 hours ago

    Sloths are just done. They’ve been there, done that. They want nothing to do with any of that anymore. They are done.

  • Joel Aguilar
    Joel Aguilar   1 days ago

    Does eons have a podcast or something?? I'd love to be able to have it playing in the background while I'm cleaning

  • FeedMeSalt
    FeedMeSalt   3 days ago

    they went from those majestic creatures, To something so stupid it will freeze to death if you wet it.

  • Spirit悪の
    Spirit悪の   2 weeks ago

    THE Time when Pbs Eons was called pbs kids

  • Abhijit Desai
    Abhijit Desai   2 weeks ago

    The physiology of the sloths family must have helped them to survive extreme catastrophies and move away to safer places all over the world later to mutate to different varieties.

  • sherlockbonez
    sherlockbonez   2 weeks ago

    Theyve been around the world and now just want to chill on a tree

    OLD BIRD CHOZO   3 weeks ago

    A 2 ton sloth? Ok i want one! Bring on jurrasic park !!!

  • Just doing it.
    Just doing it.   3 weeks ago

    For some reason I thought that there was still a ground sloth in South America.

  • slovan01
    slovan01   3 weeks ago

    How can these slow dudes swim?

  • Noah Boucher
    Noah Boucher   3 weeks ago

    "Hunting by humans," makes me wonder what ground sloth tasted like...

  • BluePixie
    BluePixie   3 weeks ago

    Lmao I thought I was on crashcourse when I saw the narrator, made me check the channel

  • Beast Boy
    Beast Boy   3 weeks ago

    I was wondering, is it possible that low metabolism is an ancestral trait of all mammals? Or is it something that is inherently unique to the xenarthrans?

  • Me Too
    Me Too   3 weeks ago

    Veeeryy ssslowsslyy.

  • Cx0e
    Cx0e   4 weeks ago

    Could have sloths evolved into something like whales if given enough time and if there was no competition from whales themselves

  • Blaze
    Blaze   4 weeks ago

    Is there a 'Evolution of Seals' episode planned? Because that sounds interesting.

  • kennb750
    kennb750   1 months ago

    First of all, I LOVE your videos! Keep them coming! Secondly, I'd REALLY like to know where/what these highly intelligent, scarily independent, bite sized things we call domestic cats descend from and how they've been so successful at surviving. Wow... That REALLY sounds like I hate cats. Lol! I don't.

  • paul hench
    paul hench   1 months ago

    I'd like to learn about Homo erectus and other early hominids that left Africa. Thanks for your great videos!!!

  • The truth Don't deny
    The truth Don't deny   1 months ago

    First of all the Earth has not existed for 8 million years it has only existed for 6003 years 2nd sloths were never in the ocean

  • jaguarkick
    jaguarkick   1 months ago

    Lmfao @ water sloth so slow they get injured trying to swim in the ocean back in them savage days lol

  • Kyle Murphy
    Kyle Murphy   1 months ago

    How bats evolved!!!How echolocation evolved (in whales and/or bats)!!!Please!

  • Odin Arnell
    Odin Arnell   1 months ago

    In a national geographic magazine it said that sloths were good swimmers and could swim 3 times as fast as they could move on land

  • Sam James
    Sam James   1 months ago

    I can see all the Greek in this. In Thalassocnus, Thalassa θάλασσα in Greek means “sea” which makes sense for that sloth. And Diabolotherium, diabolo διαβολο means “demon” or “devil”

  • Jarid Gaming
    Jarid Gaming   1 months ago

    I would really like to see the ground digging sloth alive today.

  • Flamingo Worshiper
    Flamingo Worshiper   1 months ago

    My friend was scared when I told her I was watching an educational videoim more afraid of this

  • sgtcojonez
    sgtcojonez   1 months ago

    It looks like a cuddle fish from Subnautica.

  • Anghel Vlad
    Anghel Vlad   1 months ago

    To bad that was all for nothing because ppl dont f care about the Amazon forest's

  • XxCell TeamxX
    XxCell TeamxX   1 months ago

    Y'know.. 5 months ago there we're 80 sloths on this earth