Latin name: Dasypodidae
size: 20 - 100cm (head-hull-length)
mass: 2kg - 40kg
Older: 10 - 15 years
Appearance: gray tank
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Insects, small mammals, invertebrates
distribution: North America, South America
original origin: South America
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: Savannas, steppes and semi-deserts
natural enemies: Jaguar
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: July August
gestation: 3 - 4 months
litter size: 2 - 10 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the armadillo
- Armadillos belong to a very old group of mammals, namely the tributaries, which include the sloths and the anteaters. The history of this mammal group dates back to the Paleocene.
- Armadillos have at the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae additional lateral articular processes, the so-called minor joints, the function of which is not exactly researched.
- The armadilers owe their name to their skin-bone armor, which consists of belt-like rings of bone and horn plates. These are connected at the back by folds of skin and thus very flexible. In the head and shoulder area and at the back of the trunk, the bone plates have grown together to large signs. The tail is also surrounded by bone rings.
- The tank is only one type, the so-called bristle armadillo with short and hard hair overgrown.
- In total, there are 21 different species of armadillo animals native to South America and the southeastern regions of North America, living as subsistence dwellers in mostly arid regions such as steppes, savannahs and semi-deserts with sparse vegetation.
- Armadillos are nocturnal loners and begin with the onset of darkness foraging. They live mainly on small insects and invertebrates, which they capture with their sticky and long tongue. Some species also eat larger creatures such as lizards and small rodents. During the day, armadillos retreat to burrows and sleep.
- In subterranean caves, females give birth to their offspring, whose skin gradually evolves into a bony shell only a few weeks after birth.
- Since her body is surrounded by the tank in almost all exposed areas, armadillos hardly have predators. In the event of danger, they roll up into a ball, leaving attackers with no chance to access the soft parts of the body such as the legs and stomach. Only jaguars manage to bite through the hard bullet with great effort.
- The brown-bristled armadillo has developed its own tactic to protect against attackers. It presses itself firmly into the earth and digs in legs and belly. At the same time it holds the air for several minutes until the predator has given up.
- All armadillos can hold their breath for some time. This ability allows them to dig deep in the subsurface for food with their powerful forelegs and giant claws.
- Despite their clumsy physique, armadillos are fast runners and excellent swimmers. In order to prevent them from being pulled underwater by the heavy bone armor, they swallow large amounts of air and store them in the digestive tract. With this technique it is possible for them to cross even wide streams and rivers, swimming or running on the ground.