Overview of the Armadillo
The armadillo belongs to an order of mammals (along
with anteaters and sloths) with small brains and few,
or no teeth. Like the anteater, the armadillo has a
long sticky tongue for consuming insects; they use their
claws and powerful front legs to dig into ant or termite
nests, and then lap up the insects with their tongue.
Armadillos live in savannas, pampas, forests, deserts,
and grasslands in southern North America and in South
America. Only one armadillo subspecies, the nine banded
armadillo, is found in the southern parts of the United
States. The giant armadillo is a subspecies of armadillo
that can grow up to 5 feet in length.
There are 20 different subspecies of armadillos, all
of which are protected by a hard coat of armor. The
armor is composed of bands of plates, but does not cover
its underside, leaving its underbelly exposed. To defend
against a predator, some armadillos pull in their legs
so that their armor is firmly pressed against the ground.
Others can roll into a ball that cannot be pulled apart
Armadillos are powerful diggers and swimmers; they
have strong claws which they use to dig for food, and
shelter. They rest in burrows by day and hunt for food
at night. The diet of an armadillo consists of a variety
of insects, including ants and termites, and vegetation.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net