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Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus


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Nine-banded Armadillo
credit: Mwcolgan8

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Family: Dasypodidae, Armadillos view all from this family

Description Bony skin plates are unique. Long head, prominent ears, short legs, and short, tapered, scaly plated tail are distinctive. Body has nine moveable bands encircling the mid-section.

Dimensions 615-800mm, 245-370mm, ? 5.5-7.7kg; / 3.6-6.0kg

Breeding Breed in mid-summer, but implantation of the embryos is delayed, and young are not born until March or April. All litters consist of a set of identical quadruplets that come from a single egg.

Habitat Grasslands & prairies, Forests & woodlands, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Deserts, Cities, suburbs & towns

Range Plains, Southeast, Southwest, Florida, Texas

Discussion Digs burrows with its nose and forefeet, and lines them with vegetation as a sleeping den. Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, it is sometimes active during the day in the winter. One of the few mammals with no eyeshine. Surprisingly strong swimmers, can float with their head above water or exhale and sink to walk along stream bottoms. Although clumsy looking when rooting through leaf litter for insects, it can escape quickly by bounding straight up and then running away quickly. Searches for food with its nose, and digs small conical holes when extracting insects from underground. Armadillos are expanding their range east and northward; they were known only from southern Texas in the 1800s. Their colonization of Florida resulted from a combination of introduced animals in the Miami area in the 1920s and 30s and the natural eastward expansion of animals from Alabama in the early 1970s. Armadillos are adaptable to a wide variety of habitats including woodlands, fields, and brushy areas.