Armadillo facts: Interesting facts about Armadillos. Armadillos of the genus Dasypus give birth to four genetically identical young that split from the same embryo; i.e. They reach sexual maturity in three to 12 months, depending on the species. Because of their low metabolic rate and lack of fat stores, cold is their enemy, and spates of intemperate weather can wipe out whole populations. Some species, however, feed almost entirely on ants and termites. Species range in length from about 6 inches (15 centimeters) to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one” and refers to the bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail of most of these odd looking creatures. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. This is particularly true of types that specialize in using termites as their primary food source (for example, Priodontes and Tolypeutes). Armadillos have very poor eyesight, and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. There are about 10 living genera and about 20 species of armadillo. The smallest species, the pink fairy armadillo, is roughly chipmunk-sized at 85 g (3.0 oz) and 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) in total length. Armadillos are solitary animals that do not share their burrows with other adults. Others have black, red, gray, or yellowish coloring. The familiar nine-banded armadillo is the only species that includes the United States in its range. They are the only living mammal to wear such a shell. Strong legs and huge front claws are used for digging, and long, sticky tongues for extracting ants and termites from their tunnels. Nine-banded armadillos are known for often giving birth to four identical pups. Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning âlittle armored oneâ and refers to the bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail of most of these odd looking creatures. Armadillos live in temperate and warm habitats, including rain forests, grasslands, and semi-deserts. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates. Interesting Armadillo Facts: They vary in size, from 5-59 inches in length to 3-120 pounds in weight. Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. In fact, only the three-banded armadillo can, curling its head and back feet and contorting its shell into a hard ball that confounds would-be predators. Additional armour covers the top of the head, the upper parts of the limbs, and the tail. Armadillos can be pinkish, dark-brown, black, red, gray or yellowish in color. Armadillos are stout with short legs and strong, curved claws. They are special because of the fact that they have an outer shell like covering much akin to tortoise. PicFacts(1-500) PicFacts(501-1000) PicFacts(1001-1500) PicFacts(1501-2000) PicFacts(2001-2500) PicFacts (2501-3000) PicFacts (3001-3500) PicFacts (3501-4000) PicFacts … The plates cover their back, legs, head and tail, composed of small epidermal scales of horn-covered bone. The pink fairy armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) or pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo, at 85 grams (3.0 ounces) and 13 to 15 centimeters (5.1–5.9 inches) in total length. Most species dig burrows and sleep prolifically, up to 16 hours per day, foraging in the early morning and evening for beetles, ants, termites, and other insects. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one". Of the 20 varieties of armadillo, all but one live in Latin America. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one". Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. Contrary to popular belief, not all armadillos are able to encase themselves in their shells. Their average length is about 75 centimeters (30 in), including the tail. The North American nine-banded armadillo tends to jump straight in the air when surprised, so consequently often collides with the undercarriage or fenders of passing vehicles. There Are 21 Identified Armadillo Species. Armadillos are covered in bony plates that create their ‘armour’. Many species use their sharp claws to dig for food, such as grubs, and to dig dens. WATCH: These Cute Armadillos Almost Always Give Birth to Quadruplets, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/armadillos.html. PicFacts. They dig their burrows with their claws, making only a single corridor the width of the animal's body. they always have id. Most members of the genus Dasypus give birth to four monozygotic young (that is, identical quadruplets), but other species may have typical litter sizes that range from one to eight. Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals. They are prolific diggers. Most species have rigid shields over the shoulders and hips, with a number of bands separated by flexible skin covering the back and flanks. Here are 13 Interesting Armadillo facts. Gestation lasts from 60 to 120 days, depending on species, although the nine-banded armadillo also exhibits delayed implantation, so the young are not typically born for eight months after mating. This armour-like skin appears to be the main defense of many armadillos, although most escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armour protects them) or digging to safety. They vary widely in size and color, from the 6-inch-long, salmon-colored pink fairy armadillo to the 5-foot-long, dark-brown giant armadillo. The nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is by … They use their claws for digging and finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows. Armadillos are in the Cingulata, an order of New World placental mammals. Most of the 20 species are found in open areas, such as grasslands, but some also live in forests. Their whole body (head, back, legs and tail) is covered with bony plates. The Giant Armadillo grows up to 100 cm (39 in) and weigh 30 kg (66lbs). They have five clawed toes on their hind feet, and three to five toes with heavy digging claws on their fore feet. The armour is formed by plates of dermal bone covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called "scutes", composed of bone with a covering of horn. Only the South American three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes) rely heavily on their armour for protection. This page was last modified on 21 October 2020, at 15:17. 1-5 Armadillo Facts 1. All rights reserved. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species frequently roll up into a ball. Their armor is a type of hardened skin. Armadillo is a Spanish word, translating to ‘little armoured one’, named by Spanish explorers to Latin America. The underside of the animal is never armoured, and is simply covered with soft skin and fur. All species live in the Americas. They have very poor eyesight, and utilize their keen sense of smell to hunt. Armadillos have a large number of cheek teeth which are not divided into premolars and molars, but usually have no incisors or canines. The dentition of the nine-banded armadillo is P 7/7, M 1/1 = 32. The nine-banded armadillo is noted for its movement through water which is accomplished via two different methods: it can walk underwater for short distances, holding its breath for as long as six minutes; also, to cross larger bodies of water, it is capable of increasing its buoyancy by swallowing air, inflating its stomach and intestines. Armadillos are the only living mammals that wear such shells. Many species are endangered. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- In addition to bugs, armadillos eat small vertebrates, plants, and some fruit, as well as the occassional carrion meal. However their body has been adapted to their surroundings in the process of evolution. In common with other xenarthrans, armadillos, in general, have low body temperatures of 33–36 °C (91–97 °F) and low basal metabolic rates (40–60% of that expected in placental mammals of their mass). There are about 10 living genera and about 20 species of armadillo. The diets of different armadillo species vary, but consist mainly of insects, grubs, and other invertebrates. The living ones have a leathery armored shell. The living ones have a leathery armored shell. Armadillos are usually brownish black, marked with yellow above and yellowish white underneath. The young are born with soft, leathery skin which hardens within a few weeks. The nine-banded armadillo prefers to build burrows in moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos around which it lives and feeds. Armadillos have short legs, but can move quite quickly. Armadillos are like mammals and give birth to young ones and wean them with milk like any other mammals. The largest species, the giant armadillo, can be the size of a small pig and weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb), and can be 150 cm (59 in) long. Armadillos species are mostly found in South and Central America, especially around Paraguay. Armadillos are in the Cingulata, an order of New World placental mammals.
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