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
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
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)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|4 - 12 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Pink, Grey, Black|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Forest and grasslands|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Insects, Ants, Termites|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Bear, Wolf, Coyote|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Armoured plated skin and can curl into a ball|
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.
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 its 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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First Published: 29th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 29 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 29 Nov 2008]