Did sloths evolve, or were they created by God?

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The sloth … the slowest mammal in the forest

Three-toed sloth

The tropical forests of South and Central America are the home of the sloth (rhymes with oath). The sloth is the slowest mammal in the world. Its bodily functions are so slow that it comes down to the ground to relieve itself only once a week.

The sloth is about the size of a small dog, but spends its entire existence hanging from tree branches. It has stiff grey-brown hair and long claws that it uses as hooks.

Three-toed slothSloths move so slowly that even at top speed they reach little more than one kilometer an hour (less than one mile per hour). They are of two types: the slow two-toed sloth, and the even slower three-toed sloth (pictured above and at right).

These creatures react so little that you could fire a gun beside a sloth's head and all the animal would do is turn slowly and blink.

American naturalist William Beebe once followed a sloth for a week in the forest. He said it spent 10 hours resting, 11 hours feeding, 18 hours moving slowly, and 129 hours sleeping!

No evolutionary ancestors

Did sloths evolve?

There are no known fossils of today's small tree sloths, so evolutionists don't have an ancestor for them. And the fossils of their cousins, the extinct ground sloths, give no indication that they are descended from any other creature either.

Ground sloth's foot boneLike all major types of creatures, sloths show no evidence of having evolved. In fact, their extinct relatives were much larger than present-day sloths, showing they lived in a world that was perhaps more luxuriant and capable of sustaining such large creatures. This is a picture that fits the biblical history of the world. Even today's somewhat reduced sloths are perfectly suited to their environment and way of life.

Encyclopaedia Britannica noted that the evolutionary ancestry of the whole order to which sloths belong, the Edentata (toothless or nearly toothless mammals that include anteaters and armadillos), is unknown. This isn't surprising to creationists, because we do not believe they evolved at all. We believe God created them as sloths in the beginning. They are simply part of God's array of an infinite variety of creatures in the forest at which humans truly marvel.


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