Lazybones of the Animal Kingdom – Honorable Mentions.


It is no surprise that these guys make this list. The nature of these iconic lazybones has been so profoundly projected by the media, culture, and even mythology that they are now widely accepted as the face of laziness – Literally. Sloths have the lowest metabolic rate of any mammal. This implies that body activities take place very slowly- so slowly that in fact, it may take about a month for a sloth to digest a single leaf!

Furthermore, they sleep for up to 15 to 20 hours a day. When they are awake, they do not do much either. These guys are apparently so lethargic and sedentary that algae grows on their fur. This helps them blend into the environment and hide from predators like the jaguar.

Sloths live most of their lives in the trees of Central and South American forests, hanging upside down with little or no effort, thanks to their unique anatomy. On the few occasions of their descent from the trees, it is often for defecation. Sloths are able to poop about a third of their weight, in one sitting- quite interesting if you think about it.


Arguably China’s favorite animals, pandas have won the hearts of many for their goofiness, round fluffiness, and their stunning black and white coats. However, beyond the entrancing adorableness, it is worthy of note that they are notoriously lazy animals. Their rate of energy expenditure is down there, with sloths. All they do is eat and sleep. Pandas feed exclusively on bamboo. Its low nutrient content causes them to consume a lot to keep up with their body needs. Their choice of diet is quite interesting because their digestive system suggests that they should be carnivores. They are strange sleepers too. They will fall asleep just about anywhere they feel like. It is likely that the dearth of predators, among others, allows them to indulge in this weird behavior.

There are only about 2000 pandas left in the wild. With intensifying conservation efforts, it is safe to say that they will still be around for a while.


Australia’s “teddy bears”.

Although their looks may suggest that they are ursids, they are actually arboreal marsupials. They are native to the Eastern and South-Eastern parts of Australia. Koalas are notorious sleepyheads. They are only awake for six hours or less, per day. They are not so active when they are awake either. They are found on eucalyptus trees, whose leaves they consume exclusively. They are quite picky eaters as well, going for the freshest, juiciest leaves on the trees. Their sleepiness is because of the toxicity and the low nutrients of eucalyptus leaves. Its digestion is energy-draining.

The koala population has plummeted in recent years, due to deforestation. The current estimate puts them between 30,000 to 60,000 individuals.


Opossums are rat-like marsupials native to North America. They are the only resident marsupials in the region, for the record. With a total of fifty teeth, opossums have the most teeth of any mammal.

Why are they on this list? Well…

Opossums sleep for about twenty hours a day. When they forage for food, they would rather opt for an easy catch or readily accessible food. They are omnivorous by nature.

Their laziness spills over into their home culture. These guys would also rather occupy ready-made old nests of other animals than build theirs. They are also clumsy walkers and slow runners, although they appear to be marginally faster in water.

It is worthy of note that when opossums feel threatened, they adopt a strange defense mechanism- they often play dead, stiffening their bodies, slowing their hearts, and hanging out their tongues. In addition, they secrete a repulsive substance that smells like decomposing matter. To their natural enemies, they appear to be dead and decaying, thus they lose interest.

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