All species of armadillos are native to the Americas and live in a variety of different environments. Armadillo, the word is taken from the Spanish language means “little-armoured one”. They are New World afterbirth mammals in the order Cingulata with a leathery armour shell. Armadillos are the mammals with the shell, which covers their back, head, legs, and tail. Armadillos eat insects and different type of bugs.
The Chlamyphoridae and Dasypodidae are the only two surviving families in the order cingulata. It is part of the superorder Xenarthra. Besides that, anteaters and sloths also belong to the same family. There are total 21 extant species of armadillo have been described. They are classified on the basis of the number of bands on their armour.
Presently, most of the species of armadillos live in South America. 11 species out of 21 live in Paraguay and surrounding areas. The northern naked-tailed armadillo and nine-banded armadillo, are the two species which are found in Central America. Many species of armadillos are endangered. The nine-banded armadillo has reached the United States, primarily in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida.
The average length of an armadillo including tail is about 75 cm. The size of a giant armadillo can be up to 150 cm and weight up to 54 kg. While the pink fairy armadillo is a little species, with an overall length of 13–15 cm.
Where Do Armadillos Live In The United States?
There are only one species of armadillo live in the United States. The nine-banded armadillo lives in southern Nebraska and southern Indiana. They are mainly found in Texas, North Carolina and Florida in the United States.
Armadillos are originated in South America. They were confined there for most of the Cenozoic due to the continent’s former isolation. A few members of the family have migrated to northward into southern North America. They moved because of the early Pleistocene as part of the Great American reciprocate.
Armadillos hate cold weather that’s why you can find them in warm habitats, including deserts, temperate grasslands, and rainforests. Armadillos live in their dens during the day and take a sleep of 16 hours a day.
Where Do Pink Fairy Armadillos Live?
The scientific name of Pink fairy armadillo is Chlamyphorus truncates. They live in the dry grasslands and sandy plains of central Argentina. This is the only species of armadillo that has dorsal shell completely separate from its body. It is also known as the Pichiciego, the smallest armadillo species. It ranges between 90-115 mm in length and less than a pound in weight.
The pink fairy armadillo lives in the sandy environment. As it is an excellent digger and love feeding on small bugs and insects by digging the ground. They immerse themselves under the sand when feeling threatened or scared. Ants are the most frequent food of pink fairy armadillo. They dig large ant colonies to feed on ants.
They are nocturnal and live a solitary life. It comes out only for food in the night. Although they sleep 16 hours a day and keep themselves safe underground in burrows and dens. The population of the pink fairy armadillo is decreasing because of the habitat destruction. They have been listed as Threatened since 1970.
Where Do Giant Armadillos Live?
Giant armadillos live in forests, grasslands, and open lands. The scientific name of a giant armadillo is Maximus periodontics. This mammal belongs to the cingulate family, is really old. it is an estimation by the scientists that cingulate animals have been living on Earth for about 65 million years. Giant armadillo is native to the northern half of South America. It lives in the tropical forests of northeastern South America. They can be also found along the northern coast of America.
Giant armadillos can live and survive above sea level at an altitude of 500 meters. Besides that, they are solitary animals and not territorial. They can move one place to another as per their comfort. An adult giant armadillo can be up to 75 to 100 cm in size (without tail) and weigh up to 19 to 33 kg.
The diet of a giant armadillo is comprised of the various bugs and insects. They love feeding on termites, ants, and worms. Giant armadillos prefer to live nearby termite mounds for easy availability of food. Their claws are perfectly designed to dig the ground and sticky tongue helps to pick the bugs and termites easily.
Where Do Nine-Banded Armadillos Live?
The nine-banded armadillo is mainly found in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and southeast Kansas southeastward to Georgia and most of Florida. The nine-banded armadillo lives in forests, scrub and brush lands. The soft soil is preferred by them to dig and make burrows.
They prefer to live nearby the water sources and can have more than one burrow. In the U.S., the nine-band armadillo’s range has been expanding to the north, east, and west. It has also reached in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Nine-banded armadillos can live around 4 to 5 years. Besides that in captivity, they can live 6 to 7 years. Armadillos don’t have teeth in front so they can’t bite. If they feel threatened, they can jump 3 to 4 feet up in the air.
Their name is nine-banded armadillos, despite that they can have 7 to 11 bands on their armour. They can be about 2.5 feet long from the nose to the tip of the tail and weigh an average of 12 pounds. Nine-banded armadillos are nocturnal so feed during the night and sleep in daylight. Other than human, nine-banded armadillo is the only animal which causes leprosy to humans by holding them very rarely.
In some part of the USA, armadillos are called poor man’s pork or Hoover Hog. They have been a source of food for humans. Besides that, they are also considered agricultural pests, so people often capture and kill them. But their population is still increasing as humans have also killed their natural predators.
Armadillos are truly remarkable creatures. if you know anything about them, you may share with us. Besides that, let us know if this article is informative enough for you, below in the comment section…..