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12 Examples of the Laziest Animals in the World

If there are many active animals in nature, it’s also true that there are some of the laziest animals as well. Some animals appear to be less active than others for a variety of reasons. To begin, it’s critical to understand that not all species are equally active.

Some animals, such as humans and dogs, are extremely energetic; others, such as sloths and pandas, are passive by nature. This article will look at 12 animals that would rather stay put than move around all the time.

12 Laziest animals

1. Sloth

Pygmy three-toed sloth
Pygmy three-toed sloth | image by Lider Sucre via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Bradypus pygmaeus

Sloths are mammals that live in Central and South American forests. They have long, coarse hair that keeps them warm at night and helps them blend in with the trees where they live. These creatures sleep 10 to 15 hours a day on average and spend the majority of their time hanging upside down from tree branches.

They feed on leaves, fruit, and insects. Sloths are also considered lazy animals due to their slow metabolisms and the fact that they only defecate once a week. These mammals are very slow movers, moving at a maximum speed of 0.27 km/h.

2. Cuckoo Bird

Cuckoo perched on a tree
Cuckoo perched on a tree

Scientific Name: Cuculus canorus

Cuckoo birds are considered lazy birds because they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. They’re also known as brood parasites because these animals don’t raise their own young, instead relying on other birds to do so. When their eggs hatch in other nests, the baby cuckoos push other eggs out of the nest and trick the host bird into raising them.

These birds are generally shy and solitary creatures, but they’ll group together with other cuckoos during the breeding season. They’re known for their calls that sound like “cuckoo,” which lead to their names. Cuckoos can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and meadows.

3. Nurse Shark

Nurse Shark underwater
Nurse Shark underwater

Scientific Name: Ginglymostoma cirratum

Nurse sharks are bottom-dwelling, slow-moving sharks that live in tropical and subtropical coastal waters. They can grow to be up to 8 feet long, with a round head and barbels on their wide mouths.

These sharks are thought to be lazy because they spend the majority of their time lying on the ocean floor. Nurse sharks are slow and won’t even migrate when the temperature changes. Instead, they’ll stay on the ocean floor and do less than usual.

As bottom-dwelling creatures, they consume fish, mollusks, worms, and crustaceans that are buried in the sand or mud at the bottom of the ocean.

4. Giant Panda

Giant panda
Resting Giant panda | Image by Ilse Orsel from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

The Giant Panda is a bear that lives in the mountains of central China. They have a cuddly appearance with a black and white coat and can grow to be 4 to 6 feet long when standing. Pandas live in bamboo forests, where they build nests out of twigs and sleep on hollow logs.

These animals are extremely lazy as a result of their low energy levels caused by their nutrient-deficient diet. They don’t move much and spend most of their time sleeping to conserve energy.

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5. Echidna

Echidna showing its sharp quills
Echidna showing its sharp quills | image by S J Bennett via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Tachyglossus aculeatus

The echidna is a one-of-a-kind animal found in Australia and New Guinea. It’s one of only two egg-laying mammals, which means it’s a mammal but lays eggs rather than giving birth to live young.

They’re very slow animals with a top speed of 2.3 kilometers per hour due to their slow metabolism and low temperature. But for the same reason, they can live longer than others, typically between 40 and 50 years.

6. Owl Monkey

Colombian night monkey
Colombian night monkey | image by kueda via iNaturalist | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Aotus lemurinus

Owl monkeys are a type of New World monkey that lives in Central and South American rainforests, where they eat fruits, flowers, and insects. They typically live in groups of 4 to 5 individuals.

These nocturnal monkeys have large eyes that help them see well at night. They’re among the animals that sleep for long periods of time, usually 17 hours per day, and only wake up 15 minutes after sunset until midnight to look for food.

7. Opossum

Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossums | Image by daynaw3990 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana

An opossum is a small marsupial found in North America. You can find them from Canada up to some parts of Central America. These marsupials are scavengers and eat almost anything they can find—including insects, fruits, mice, and nuts.

However, an opossum will always choose sleep if given a choice between food and sleep. This is why they’re referred to as “lazy” animals. Opossums have been observed sleeping for 18 to 20 hours per day in order to regain energy for their daily activities.

8. Lion

Lion sits on the ground
Lion sits on the ground

Scientific Name: Panthera leo

Lions are widely regarded as the kings of the jungle, and they‘re considered powerful and active hunters. Wildebeests and zebras are their most common prey, but these creatures will also hunt antelopes, buffalo, and giraffes.

However, lions have been considered lazy because they don’t need to hunt every day. Lions hunt large animals that can supply them with food for several days, and they spend 21 hours per day sleeping and resting during this period.

9. Armadillo

Nine-banded armadillo foraging
Nine-banded armadillo foraging | image by Robert Nunnally via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Dasypus novemcinctus

Armadillos are mammals that are native to South America. They‘re distinguished by an armor-like shell on their backs, which protects them from predators. These animals can also dig burrows to protect themselves from weather and predators.

This is also where they spend approximately 16 hours per day sleeping. As a result, armadillos may appear lazy to others because they move slowly, with speeds ranging between 0.15 and 0.65 miles per hour.

10. Greenland sharks

Greenland shark swimming
Greenland shark swimming

Scientific Name: Somniosus microcephalus

Greenland sharks are a type of shark that lives in arctic and subarctic waters. According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, these sharks are usually in areas where the water temperature is between -2 and 7 degrees Celsius. They can grow to be up to 21 feet long and weigh up to 2,200 pounds.

These sharks can live for up to 250 years because of their slow metabolism, which allows them to age slowly and move slowly in the water, with a top speed of less than 2.9 kilometers per hour.

11. Sea anemone

Sea Anemone
Sea Anemone | Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Actinia equina

Sea anemones are sea creatures that live in the ocean. They’re a type of polyp, which means they have many similarities to corals. These sea creatures are sedentary creatures that don’t move much. Sea anemones sit on the seafloor, waiting for food to come to them!

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These aquatic creatures do this by injecting a neurotoxin into their prey with tentacles made of stinging cells before bringing them into their mouths. When they do move, it’s usually because their current habitat is no longer suitable for them.

12. Slow lorises

Pygmy slow loris at night
Pygmy slow loris at night | image by David Haring / Duke Lemur Center via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Xanthonycticebus pygmaeus

Slow lorises are a species of primate found in South and Southeast Asia. Their name comes from their lethargic and slow-moving nature caused by their low metabolic rate.

Many people consider this slow animal lazy because it spends most of its time resting or sleeping. They actually sleep at least 19 hours per day.

However, don’t underestimate this small primate because its bites contain venom that can be painful and even fatal to some victims.