Armadillo Facts

Armadillo Facts
Armadillos are the only mammals whose body is covered with hard shell. Only one armadillo species (nine-banded armadillo) lives in North America. Other 19 types live in South America. They inhabit grasslands, rainforests and semi-arid area. Most armadillo species are threatened because of habitat loss and hunting.
Interesting Armadillo Facts:
They vary in size, from 5-59 inches in length to 3-120 pounds in weight.
Armadillos can be pinkish, dark-brown, black, red, gray or yellowish in color.
Their whole body (head, back, legs and tail) is covered with bony plates.
Only three-banded armadillo can curl into the ball to protect itself from predators. Other armadillos run or dig a hole when they need to escape from predators.
Their legs and long claws are perfectly adapted for digging. They can dig and create network of tunnels underground.
They sleep 16-18 hours per day in their burrows.
Armadillos also dig ground to find their favorite food - insects. Beside insects, they like to eat small mammals, baby birds, eggs, carrion, roots and fruit.
Like anteaters, they have long sticky tongue that works perfectly when they hunt ants and termites. They eat fire ants also.
They have poor eyesight and use well developed sense of smell to find their prey.
Armadillos are great swimmers. They can hold their breath for 6 minutes when they dive.
They are also excellent climbers. They can climb over the fence in the case they can't dig underneath it.
Reproduction of armadillos is very unique. Although mating season takes place in July, female becomes pregnant in November. This is called "delayed implantation". Female can postpone her pregnancy until environmental conditions become satisfying.
From one egg, 4 identical armadillos will be born. They are called quadruplets.
Baby armadillo is born without bony plates. It takes few weeks for soft skin to turn into hard armor.
Armadillos live 4-7 years in the wild and 12-15 years in captivity.

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