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Nine-banded armadillo
Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus.
Armadillo (Tatu Carreta) at the Peninsula Valdes National Park, Chubut, Argentina
Armadillo searching for food
Nine-Banded armadillo photographed at the welder wildlife refuge
The armadillo is native to both North America and South America, although only one species of Armadillo is found in the United States.

The average armadillo measures around 75cm in length, including the tail but the giant armadillo can grow to more than 1.5m long and the miniature pink fairy armadillo (the smallest armadillo species) only gets to around 10cm in length.

There are around 20 species of armadillo still existent on the American continent with the nine-banded armadillo being the only species found outside of the South American tropics.

The armadillo has a hard outer shell and can curl up into a ball leaving no soft body parts exposed to danger (a bit like a woodlouse). The armadillo also has long claws which the armadillo uses for digging burrows and hunting for insects in the earth.

Despite the armadillo\'s odd shape, most armadillos can also reach a top speed of nearly 30 mph so can easily outrun most jungle predators. The primary predators of the armadillo are bears, wolves, wildcats and cougars.

The armadillo has very poor vision which makes the armadillo somewhat vulnerable in its jungle environment. The armadillo\'s armour is formed by plates of bone covered in relatively small overlapping scales. The scales of the armadillo are known as scutes and these scutes are made up of bone with a covering of horn.

The armadillo has additional armour that covers the top of its head, the upper parts of the armadillo\'s limbs and the armadillo\'s tail. The underside of the armadillo has no armour, and is simply covered with soft skin and fur, hence it\'s strategy of curling into a ball leaving only the armoured plates exposed.

The armadillo is generally an insectivore meaning that the diet of the armadillo is primarily comprised of insects. Armadillos also snack on other things including worms, spiders, snakes and frogs although the exact diet of the armadillo is very much dependent on the area which it inhabits.

Female armadillos give birth to around four young which are born after a gestation period of three to four months. After birth, the baby armadillos remain in the burrow for a few months, only feeding on their mothers milk. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a year. Some species of armadillo are known to reproduce every year so a single female armadillo can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life.

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Armadillo Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
36cm - 75cm (14in - 30in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
4kg - 30kg (9lbs - 66lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
48km/h (30mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
4 - 12 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Pink, Grey, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Boney Plates
Favourite Food:Insects
The specific area where the animal lives...
Forest and grasslands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Insects, Ants, Termites
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Bear, Wolf, Coyote
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Armoured plated skin and can curl into a ball

Related Animals

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!
Also known as the Spiny Anteater!
Pink Fairy ArmadilloPink Fairy Armadillo
The smallest known species of Armadillo!