They are known for potentially carrying leprosy and are presumed vectors and natural reservoirs for the disease in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. The nine-banded armadillo is one of the largest armadillo species. They are most closely related to sloths and anteaters. UNUSUAL FACTS: Contrary to popular belief, nine-banded armadillos cannot curl into a tight ball. Ben is our petite three banded armadillo. Armadillo activity in lawns is often a sign of high numbers of grubs which could cause damage themselves if left untreated. Of course, which methods may be used depends on each state’s wildlife laws and regulations. The larger adult males weigh between 12 and 17 pounds whereas the smaller females weigh between 8 and 13 pounds. As a result, even large rivers like the Mississippi are no barrier to the armadillo’s range expansion. Armadillos are the only mammal species to reproduce in this fashion. When threatened, a Nine-banded Armadillo tries to escape into dense vegetation or one of its numerous burrows. There are nine (sometimes fewer) narrow, jointed armor bands on its midsection that let it bend. They seem to be especially fond of ants, consuming thousands of them in just one meal. The holes they dig searching for food are usually shallow, only a few inches deep, but they dig lots of them. Don't worry about leprosy in armadillos if you … The Aztecs called them āyōtōchtli (turtle-rabbit). Actually, there is only one species of armadillo that can manage this feat- the three-banded armadillo. Since that time, they have significantly expanded their range into eastern New Mexico and Colorado, north into Kansas and Nebraska, and east across the Mississippi River as far as the Carolinas. ball armadillo).It is one of only two species of armadillo that can roll into a ball (the other is the southern three-banded armadillo).It has suffered a 30% decline in population in the last 10 years. The Nine-Banded Armadillo has a type of armor that covers the body. If he doesn’t have a burrow nearby, he will quickly dig a hole and escape into it. Too many images selected. Even thought here name is the nine banded armadillo, they can actually have 7 to 11 bands. He has a hard shell on the outside over here, and the name "nine-banded armadillo" is not exactly correct. don't have an online They’re little leapers. On average, they sleep around 16 or 17 hours per day. It has a pointed snout, like a pig, which it uses to sniff out potential food. The key to the three-banded armadillo's defense mechanism is in its shell. Burrow lengths vary from just a couple of feet to well over 20 feet. Your team's Premium Access agreement is expiring soon. Habitat: Arid grasslands, semi deserts Diet: Carnivore: insects, spiders, small reptiles, amphibians, eggs Reproduction: Mating takes place in July or August. The Spanish conquistadors gave them a name that means “little armored one,” which in Spanish is “armadillo.”. Armadillos also feed on carrion and some vegetation (mostly berries and other soft fruits). They have 4 toes on each front foot and 5 on each back foot. The nine-banded armadillo is the size if a large house cat. But 1,2 or all 3! Like to read more content, Join the Grit Community Today. The term “armadillo” means “little armored one” in Spanish, and refers to the presence of bony, armor-like plates covering their body. Nine-banded Armadillos use their powerful claws to dig burrows in which to live. Of course, armadillos don’t need cold weather to be inactive. (After all - the Armadillo IS the Official State Small Mammal of Texas!). Armadillos are a relative primitive group of mammals and have been around a long time. The armadillo has been identified as a carrier of leprosy. The plates on its shoulders and rumps are large. Contrary to popular belief, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball to escape predators!! It might leave you to wonder how some armadillo are able to curl themselves up into a ball. But it will happily relocate to. However, female armadillos can delay the implantation of their fertilized eggs for as long as two years. The nine banded armadillo can jump three to four feet in the air when startled to help it escape predators! Another tactic used by this species is to jump straight up (probably to startle a potential predator), then scurry away as fast as possible. There are two large plates with a series of 9 smaller moveable “girdles” or “bands” around the midsection. © 2020 Getty Images. The Nine-Banded Armadillo continues to expand its territory in the United States. Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95! They have very small teeth. Most of the armadillo’s diet consists of small creatures such as insects, grubs, earthworms, spiders, centipedes, and the eggs of animals such as snakes and lizards. They are called hillbilly speed bumps and opossum-on-the-half-shell. The nine-banded armadillo is the size if a large house cat. Once the egg is implanted, it will always divide into four embryos and always produce identical quadruplets, all of the same sex. We have 1 female and 2 male 9 banded Armadillos ready now! Sign in with your online account. Nine-Banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus With those long claws, a piglike head and its characteristic body armor, there’s no mistaking an armadillo for anything else! The hind feet have five claws, and the front have three claws (fairly uncommon among mammals). After mating, the young are usually born about eight months later. These creatures can be beneficial to landowners and homeowners by eating enormous numbers of insects, especially termites and fire ants. In the United States, Nine-banded Armadillos have for years been associated with Texas, where they were first documented in 1846. 1. Many of the armadillos found in the southeastern United States may have come from animals that were introduced into Florida in the 1920s. The armadillo’s digging, both for food and burrows, is the main problem most people have to deal with, however.