Armadillos

21 species

Armadillos are New World placental mammals, also known in Spanish as "little armored ones". Nine extinct genera and 21 extant species of armadillo have been described, some of which are distinguished by the number of bands on their armor. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of different environments. Armadillos are characterized by a leathery armor shell and long, sharp claws for digging. They have short legs but can move quite quickly. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species (three-banded armadillos) frequently roll up into a ball, they are the only species of armadillo capable of this. Armadillos have very poor eyesight and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. They use their claws for finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows. They dig their burrows with their claws, making only a single corridor the width of the animal's body. Today, many extant armadillo species are endangered. They are common roadkill due to their habit of jumping 3-4 ft vertically when startled, which puts them into collision with the underside of vehicles. In certain parts of Central and South America, armadillo meat is eaten and shells of these animals have traditionally been used to make the back of the charango, an Andean lute instrument.
Armadillos are New World placental mammals, also known in Spanish as "little armored ones". Nine extinct genera and 21 extant species of armadillo have been described, some of which are distinguished by the number of bands on their armor. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of different environments. Armadillos are characterized by a leathery armor shell and long, sharp claws for digging. They have short legs but can move quite quickly. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species (three-banded armadillos) frequently roll up into a ball, they are the only species of armadillo capable of this. Armadillos have very poor eyesight and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. They use their claws for finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows. They dig their burrows with their claws, making only a single corridor the width of the animal's body. Today, many extant armadillo species are endangered. They are common roadkill due to their habit of jumping 3-4 ft vertically when startled, which puts them into collision with the underside of vehicles. In certain parts of Central and South America, armadillo meat is eaten and shells of these animals have traditionally been used to make the back of the charango, an Andean lute instrument.