They are wild animals, and in many places it is illegal to own one as a pet. Armadillo, (family Dasypodidae), any of various armoured mammals found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. As discussed previously, armadillos are very prone to run-ins with cars. Both pests are about the same size, but it's easy to distinguish between the two because armadillos do not have any fur or hair. Many different species live in Central and South America, while only a handful live in North America. • How do armadillos protect themselves? They are loners except when caring for their young. Armadillos have very strong legs with huge front claws which aid digging. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). https://www.britannica.com/animal/armadillo-mammal, San Diego Zoo - Animals and Plants - Armadillo, National Geographic - Animals - Armadillo, armadillo - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), armadillo - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The nine-banded armadillo if startled can jump three to four feet in the air. long, and weighs less than a pound! Then they live as a family group. The scientific name of a giant armadillo is Maximus periodontics. As with any animal, with such a large number of species, the gestation period and breeding habits vary. It has plates of bone covered with leathery skin across its back and tail, and bony armor scales on the head and face. Their name comes from their thick leathery skin, and means “little armored one” in Spanish. Each species digs burrows to accommodate its size and shape; other animals also use them for shelter. Unfortunately for armadillos, human interaction is usually a bad thing. They find most of their prey either under the ground, or in the leaf litter. Afterward, it takes them hours to release the excess air. Read on to learn about the armadillo. Most of the 20 species inhabit open areas, such as grasslands, but some also live in forests. 60 to 120 days depending on the species. Digging: Armadillos are prolific diggers that excavate land for food and dig profound burrows for shelter. Armadillos are leathery little animals that live in North, Central, and South America. When the pups are born, their shell is soft and gray and feels like leather. Armadillos can have from 1 to 12 pups in a litter. for the most part though armadillos just want to be left alone and will always run away if they encounter a human. They live alone, and those that burrow do not share their homes with other armadillos unless they have unweaned young. Armadillo-mania is contagious in the Lone Star State, as Texans, for no apparent reason, have adopted this armor-plated critter as their mascot. They rely on their ears and noses more than their eyes to detect food or predators. Litter size varies from 1 to 12. Some species have highly specialized diets, and eat only a few different types of foods, while others feed on a wide variety of insects and small creatures. Young armadillos become independent about 6-12 months after they are born. The plates cover the sides, back, tail, head, and the outer legs, thereby offer efficient protection against attacks by predators. Giant armadillos live in forests, grasslands, and open lands. Armadillos do not form bonds, and the father does not stay to help raise the young. Once inside a burrow, some species flex their back plates and wedge themselves in so firmly that they are virtually impossible to pull out. Do armadillos live alone or in groups? In all but one species the carapace is nearly hairless. Their diets consist primarily of ants, termites, grubs, and other insects. It lives in the Amazon basin and adjacent grasslands. The adult armadillos come together to breed and may also spend time together courting before mating. If this does not scare off the predator, then the armadillo can also use its shell as protection. Usually, they are not a problem for people, but occasionally they can be a major pest in suburban and agricultural areas. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The common nine-banded armadillo is used in leprosy research because it is naturally susceptible to the disease and because the microbe that causes leprosy does not grow in laboratory culture media. Armadillos spend the daylight hours in burrows that can be 6 metres (20 feet) long, extend 1.5 metres (5 feet) under the ground, and have up to 12 entrances. Where giant armadillos live? Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The answer is that there is no bait that will make an armadillo enter a trap. One of the more amazing armadillo facts is that nine-banded armadillos always have quadruplets - four babies at a time, all of the same sex. Armadillos are timid. Armadillos can do a lot of damage to a yard, especially well kept yards, overnight. They do have sharp claws used for digging and if handled may cause damage when they are scared. Armadillos can do a lot of damage to a yard, especially well kept yards, overnight. One of them of is trying to take it easy, but the other one wants to play and just won't leave his buddy alone! They can roll up into a ball within hours of being born. The smallest species is just 5 – 6 in. If captured, it reacts by “playing dead,” either stiffening or relaxing but in either case remaining perfectly still. These creatures roam about in search of food, using their keen sense of smell. One of the most common questions that I hear from annoying do-it-yourselfers all across the country is, "what kind of bait should I use to trap armadillos?". As its scientific name, C. truncatus, suggests, the fairy armadillo is truncated; the rear of the carapace is vertical, and the animal uses it as a flat plate to plug the entrance of its burrow. Emerging from their burrows primarily at night, these efficient diggers use their keen sense of smell to locate food. They eat live insects. For the most part, the vast majority of armadillos dig to search for food, and many also live in burrows underground. Armadillos are among the only animals known to contract and carry leprosy. A baby armadillo is called a pup. Though they seem scaled, like a reptile, armadillos are actually mammals. They find most of their prey either under the ground, or in the leaf litter. Connection:I probably wouldn't like to touch one because they look gross. Humans also kill them intentionally for digging and destroying lawns and gardens. When threatened, they retreat to their burrows or, if caught in the open, draw in their feet so that their armour touches the ground. Most of the 20 species inhabit open areas, such as grasslands, but some also live in forests. However, some species can delay the development of their offspring until it is a better time. Updates? This mammal belongs to the cingulate family, is really old. The pink fairy armadillo, or lesser pichiciego (. As a whole, armadillos usually have tank-like bodies, with short legs and sturdy builds. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. The word armadillo is a Spanish term which means “little armored one.” Armadillos are gifted with thick scales that defend their back, head, legs, and tail. The armadillo will stand motionless to see if the predator will ignore them.

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