Ice Age is a classic and with so many installments out there, it is a huge part of childhood for many of us. It makes you laugh over its outright hilarious and sometimes subtle jokes but it also has its emotional, suspenseful, and dramatic moments. And with such an interesting array of prehistoric characters, it is no surprise that Ice Age is a favorite for many.
Among all the crazy characters, there is one none of us can deny adoring and that’s Sid. Short for Sidney, Sid is the deuteragonist of the films. With Sid being such a popular and prominent character, it is no wonder that many of us want to know exactly what animal is Sid in Ice Age. So, dig in and learn a little bit more about Sid and about these interesting creatures that used to roam the Earth!
So what kind of animal is Sid from Ice Age?
Sid is a prehistoric ground sloth (Megalonyx) voiced by John Leguizamo.
Many people might be confused about this and have a hard time figuring out what animal Sid is because ground sloths do not even exist anymore! They are extinct. This is why it’s difficult for many of us to recognize an animal that is no longer around us. However, the filmmakers and descriptions accompanying various Ice Age movies have clearly mentioned that Sid is a ground sloth.
There are still a few living species of tree sloths, but the animal Sid is closely based on have long disappeared off the face of the planet.
Sid’s Character in Ice Age
Sid belonged to a family of sloths that abandoned him when he was an adult. Sid then meets Manny, a mammoth, and Diego, a saber-tooth tiger, and the three of them form their “herd” after a series of adventures where they return a human baby named ‘Roshan’ to his tribe.
Shortly after this, Sid and his friends make their own home in a valley that is soon to be flooded due to the melting ice which prompts Sid and his best friends to trek and reach a safe place. Along this journey, they meet other animals – a few even from prehistoric times that are no longer found on Earth today – and Sid assumes responsibility for helping them all reach safety. But Sid being Sid, makes mistake upon mistake all the while giving the audience something to laugh or roll their eyes at.
At first glance, Sid is lazy, unmotivated, way too talkative, and often proves to be a nuisance. He lacks self-control and common sense, and often makes others uncomfortable unknowingly with his words or actions. But what makes Sid so lovable despite all his shortcomings and flaws is that he is loyal to his core and fiercely cares about his friends. He might not be very perceptive at times – or, let’s be honest, most of the times – but his enthusiasm for life and goofy demeanor are bound to win you over sooner or later.
About Ground Sloths (Megalonyx)
Megalonyx were a diverse group of now extinct sloths. They belonged to the class of mammals. Even though Sid wasn’t shown to be a very large or heavy character in Ice Age, an actual ground sloth weighed between 250 to 1000 kg. With such high weight, it comes as no surprise that these creatures had a strong and tall build. Ground sloths had a body length of roughly 10 feet (3 meters)! Some of their regular features included long hair, especially on their rear limbs and flanks. Some popular families of ground sloths were the Mylodontidae and the Nothrotheriidae.
Ground sloths were found in abundance in what is today the U.S. and were widely distributed in the western states. Florida, Texas, and Alaska were known to be home to a large number of ground sloths. These animals preferred open areas with grass and where they could find plenty of water. This is why ground sloths weren’t found in dry areas because they required a high amount of water. Forests and lands with trees were also preferred by these animals, provided there was a source of water for them.
According to studies, extinct ground sloths engaged in a range of locomotive activities. They could climb trees, swim, and burrow. These species of ground sloths also had large, powerful claws that could possibly be used for digging the ground and defending themselves against predators. These ground sloths, as per research, shared habitats with many herbivores. Some ground sloths even inhabited caves. Among the extinct species of ground sloths, some were strictly herbivores while others feasted on meat as well. It is believed that sloths required external parental care for growth, like many mammals.
Note that ground sloths are extinct now, for reasons which aren’t completely confirmed. Some believe that the growth of human civilization drove them to extinction but there’s no confident, unanimous answer among researchers.
Extinct Ground Sloths vs Modern Tree Sloths
Even though both the extinct ground sloths and living tree sloths are related, they are separated by a large amount of time. Time in which species evolve and adapt to their environment, leaving previous features which are no longer useful and gaining new features which are fit for the current times.
Modern sloths live in trees and rarely come down to the ground as their slow movement and smaller size makes them vulnerable to predators. While prehistoric ground sloths would climb trees for food, it likely spent most of its time on the ground due to its large size and weight.
Hopefully, now you know the amusing character Sid from Ice Age better and have gained some interesting new information about the animal it represents – the ground sloth.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.