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  • Strategy

Neck swivels 270 degrees: three-toed sloth


SlothDWA / Sergiodelgad.. / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

The head of the three-toed sloth swivels 270 degrees thanks to three extra cervical vertebrae.

"Because the three-toed sloth has three extra cervical vertebrae than other mammals, including its close relative the two-toed sloth, it is able to turn its head 270 degrees, or three-quarters the way around." (Young 1999)
About the inspiring organism
Med_bradypus Brown-throated Sloth
Bradypus variegatus Schinz, 1825
Common name: Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth

Habitat(s): Artificial - Terrestrial, Forest
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: More efficient turns or turning mechanisms for rail car switches, subways, and buses; swiveling machinery (or parts) on assembly lines to introduce resiliency.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Transportation, manufacturing

Young, Amy. 1999. Bradypus variegatus. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.
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