Armadillo are classified among armored mammals. There are 20 species in the world which are found in the Americas. Here are the 20 different species.
The United States is home to only one armadillo species called the nine banded armadillo. Its one of the different species named according to the number of bands found on their back armor. Other species named according to the number of bands are the seven banded armadillo, six banded armadillo, southern three banded armadillo and the Brazilian three banded armadillo. These species are found in different parts of South America.
The largest species is the giant armadillo. It can grow to lengths up to fifteen times that of the pink fairy armadillo, the smallest species. The giant armadillo can also be over 130 times heavier than the pink fairy armadillo.
There are armadillo species which derive their names from their nose length and their habitat. These are as follows. The southern long nosed armadillo of south eastern South America, Llanos long nosed armadillo of northern South America, hairy long nosed armadillo of Peru and greater long nosed armadillo found mainly near streams and rivers.
Although most armadillo species have little hair on their bodies, some species grow considerably long hair. These species are the big hairy armadillo, Andean hairy armadillo, the greater hairy armadillo and the screaming hairy armadillo. These species are found in central and southern South America.
A species which is prominent in Central America is the northern naked tailed armadillo. Other “naked tailed” species are the chaocan naked tailed armadillo, greater naked tailed armadillo and southern naked tailed armadillo found in different parts of south America.
Finally, there’s a species found in Argentina only called the yepes’s mulita.
The armor-plated armadillo enjoys a variety of habitats throughout the Americas. As long as the climate is warm enough, you can find armadillos going about their business digging for insects and worms or munching on vegetation. Only one type of armadillo, the nine-banded variety, lives in the United States. They are a common sight in the south-eastern states ranging from Texas all the way to Florida. The cooler weather and lack of year-round food at higher latitudes prevent their spread northward, although changing climate has increased their range in recent years.
The rest of the nineteen species of armadillo live in Central and South America. Tropical rain forests, marshy wetlands, arid savannas and grassy plains provide homes for different types of armadillo. Their range extends as far as their food does. They live in places with dirt or sand that they can dig with their clawed feet in order to find food and make burrows. Rivers and streams pose no trouble for them, as most armadillos can swim or float across them to get from one land mass to the next.
Armadillos, from the giants that grow up to a yard long and fifty pounds to the small and sweet pink fairy armadillo, populate a wide variety of habitats throughout the Americas.
When most people think of armadillos, they think of their cute little accordion shells. But scientists have been given something new to think about when it comes to everyone’s favorite armored mammals – leprosy. A study performed earlier this year by the New England Journal of Medicine has given some credibility to the old stories of people contracting rashes and leprosy after handling armadillos. This study took 33 wild armadillos and 50 human leprosy patients. 25 patients and 28 armadillos had the same strain of the disease present in their bodies, and 8 of the 25 patients could recall recent contact with an armadillo. Oddly enough, armadillos are the only animals aside from humans who are known to carry the disease naturally (though others can become infected).
As if that weren’t enough, it turns out armadillos are also natural carriers of Chagas disease, a parasitic disease that causes damage to the cardiac, nervous, and digestive systems over time. This is most commonly spread from mammal to mammal through bloodsucking insects, due to the injections most of these insects employ before drinking.
Still, there’s no reason why we can’t admire the little Roly-Poly guys. Let’s just keep our distance from them.
One of the oddest creatures in the Americas is the armadillo. These creatures appear in a Mayan legend, where a bench containing two unruly gods turns into a pair of armadillos, which dump the deities on the ground and scurry off. Rudyard Kipling wrote of armadillos in his “Just So Stories”, saying they are a cross between hedgehogs and turtles.
Armadillos live in North and South America, and are as far north as the Ohio River Valley. They are used for a variety of purposes, including food. They are said to taste similar to pork.
In Victorian times, baskets made from armadillo shells were made popular by a German basket maker. He displayed the first one at the 1902 World Fair, and the fad took off. The company that made them stayed in business until the 1970′s.
Armadillos are also used to make Charango, which is a South American instrument. It is quite similar to a five string guitar, but has a very specific body shape. This shape is easily replicated with armadillo shells.
These shelled creatures are most often found in effigy, located in southwestern souvenir shops. With their unusual looks, they are an excellent reminder of exotic places.
The armadillo is a mammal that has existed for more than 50 million years. Physically, the animal displays it’s age in it’s prehistoric appearance. The armadillo in some ways resembles a small rodent however, it has an armored shell that distinguishes it from other animals. There are around 20 different species of armadillo, each with it’s own unique characteristics. While it is commonly thought that armadillos possess the ability to roll into a ball this ability is limited to certain species (most notably the South American variety).
It’s easy to understand why the armadillo has existed for so long. It’s armored body provides ample protection from predators. In addition to having armor as a defense mechanism the armadillo has the ability to jump considerably high allowing it to escape predators. The various defense mechanisms of the armadillo coupled with the fact that it has relatively few natural predators are major factors that allowed it to survive for such a long period of time.
Each species of armadillo has it’s own unique diet. A shared characteristic among the various species of armadillo is that they eat mostly insects and other small invertebrates. It’s no surprise that the armadillo also eats ants as it is closely related to the anteater. Besides insects the armadillo will at times eat fruits and berries.
The armadillo’s habitat ranges from North to South America and also Latin America. The armadillo prefers warm climates and is often found near small deposits of water. These watery areas are useful because the armadillo likes to burrow and the ground is usually much softer near a body of water. The armadillo is also a fairly strong swimmer so living near waterways gives the armadillo an escape route from predators.
Armadillos are fascinating creatures. They have survived longer than many other animals on the planet. Their armored appearance and distinct behaviors make them one of the world’s most unique mammals.