We all have those off days when you really just feel like doing nothing. Turns out our animal friends are just the same, sometimes even worse! Here are just some of the laziest animals around.
The koala bear is a cute and cuddly animal, but it’s not actually a "bear" at all. Koalas are marsupials or pouched mammals. These cuddly fluff balls live in Australia and you can usually find them in eucalyptus trees. They have grey fur and a cream-coloured chest, and even if they look like cute and soft cuddly bears, they have very sharp claws that help them cling onto the trees.
The koala is definitely one of the laziest animals and can sleep between 18 hours and 22 hours a day, spending most of their lives lounging in trees. Koalas don’t actually drink a lot of water as they get most of the moisture from eating the eucalyptus leaves. They eat a lot for their size - around two and a half pounds of leaves every day!
These fuzzy mammals were hunted by many during the 1920s and 1930s while had a big impact on their population. But with various reproductive programs, their population began to increase. Sadly, their populations are still small and more scattered, with climate change a major threat to their survival.
The opossum is another marsupial, this time originating from America. These little animals are successful scavengers thanks to their adaptability and tolerant immune system.
Opossums are around the size of a cat, with grey fur and a white face, a long pointy snout, round dark eyes, and hairless ears, paws and tail.
As already mentioned, these animals are very adaptable and can live in a variety of different habitats and climates, as long as they have food, shelter, and water. Being omnivores, their diet consists of a variety of food, including meat and plants. They also love insects and can hunt for small animals like chicks or snakes.
One thing the opossum is known for is "playing dead" in front of predators. When they experience intense fear, they seize up and drop to the floor. It is thought that they can control whenever they want to "play dead" but actually, they have no control at all, nor for how long they do it. It is an involuntary action caused by stress.
Opossoms are nocturnal animals and can sleep from 18 to 20 hours a day! They aren’t aggressive by nature and shelter wherever they see fit.
Hamsters are a part of the rodent family. There are many different breeds, such as the Campbell, China, Roborovski, Russian Hamster and Golden. Depending on the breed, they can live up to 10 years in the wild, and up to 3 years in captivity.
This little creature has a fairly compact body and short legs that are wide compared to its silhouette. Their tails are very thick and small, and their fur can come in different colors such as black, grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a combination of these colours. The most well-known characteristic of hamsters is undoubtedly their large cheeks. These cheeks, or pouches, enable them to carry large amounts of food such as fruit, seeds, or vegetables. Full cheeks can make their heads double or even triple in size!
These little balls of fluff are pretty lazy but are great as pets because they are easy to breed in captivity, easy to care for and interact well with people. Hamsters sleep a lot and can also go into hibernation, especially in the winter (for up to 2 or 3 days). It is sometimes difficult to spot them in their cages and they don’t always respond when you call them.
Hippopotamuses are large, round animals, and are native to America. The word “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek word for “water horse”. Hippos are the third largest living land mammal, after elephants and rhinos.
They love to live in lakes and rivers and can spend up to 16 hours a day in the water. Hippos also live in groups (up to 30 members). Even if they seem like big, heavy animals, they are light and graceful in the water, and can hold their breath for up to five minutes! Hippos also love to bask on the shoreline secreting an oily, red substance that acts as a kind of suncream, protecting them against the sun and even germs.
There are two species of hippos that prefer different types of habitat. The common hippo lives in East Africa around the Sahara. On the other hand, the pygmy hippos like to live in swamplands and can be found in West Africa.
Hippos like to take naps and are some of the sleepiest animals on earth, spending on average 10 hours each day sleeping. They can sleep underwater too, they just have to come up for air every now and then!
Last but not least, the animal which comes to mind when we think of laziness is the sloth. Sloths can be found in the jungles of Central and South America. These animals are very slow and take hours to do just about anything. They spend most of their time in treetops and can sleep up to 20 hours a day!
Sloths are medium-sized mammals and their bodies are usually 50-60 cm long. There are actually two different types of sloth: the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth which are then classified into 6 different species. Despite the "two-toed" name, all sloths have three toes. In fact, the two-toed sloth is given its name based on its two "fingers"(or claws), not its toes. Three-toed sloths have, you guessed it, three fingers! These "fingers" are very sharp, strong claws that they use to hold onto tree branches. They are also used as a natural weapon to possible predators.
Three-toed sloths typically eat tree buds, new shoots, fruit and leaves, whereas two-toed sloths eat insects, small reptiles and even birds. Their four-part stomach slowly digests food, which can take up to a month! This means that they have very little energy left to move around, which makes them one of the slowest animals in the world.
Which one of these lazy animals is your favourite?