Nine-Banded Armadillo

Nine-Banded Armadillo

Long-nosed armadillo

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Dasypus novemcinctus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
7-8 years
TOP SPEED
48 km/h
WEIGHT
2.5-6.5 kg
HEIGHT
15-25 cm
LENGTH
38-58 cm

The Nine-banded armadillo is a medium-sized mammal covered over its whole body, and its head and tail, with an armored shell, which has horny scales and is considered by some to be unattractive. The scales are known as “scutes”. The shoulder plates and those on its rump are large. There are nine or fewer narrow, jointed armor bands that allow it to bend, located on its midsection. Its head is small and pointed, with a long snout, large pointed ears and peg-like teeth. There are large, thick, sharp claws on its front feet that help it burrow and dig. It has soft underparts, and although covered in armor, it has a little fur. Due to the sparseness of its fur, the animal is extremely sensitive to temperature. Armadillos are very good swimmers and runners, and they can easily walk underwater to cross small steams.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

In

Insectivores

My

Myrmecophagous

Te

Terrestrial

Fo

Fossorial

Te

Territorial

Vi

Viviparous

Bu

Burrowing

Pr

Precocial

Po

Polygamy

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

N

starts with

We

Weird Animals
(collection)

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary and primarily nocturnal creatures that come out to forage around dusk. They do not hibernate, though in the northern areas of their habitation they are more active during summer. An armadillo will mark its territory with secretions from its face, feet, and rear. Their eyesight is poor but their sense of smell is extremely good. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger. If sufficiently frightened, they can jump 3-4 ft (91-122 cm) straight in the air.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Nine-banded armadillos are Carnivores (insectivores) and forage by digging with their snouts in loose soil. Their long, sticky tongue helps them grab ants, grubs, worms and termites, wrapping them up in their tongue. They will also eat tubers, small reptiles, and amphibians.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
July-August
PREGNANCY DURATION
4 months
BABY CARRYING
4 pups
INDEPENDENT AGE
6-12 months
BABY NAME
Pup

Some studies have shown that within a given breeding season, Nine-banded armadillos are polygynous with respect to pairing. The animals become reproductively mature at about one year of age. They produce young almost every year all throughout their lives. The female can give birth to as many as 56 pups over the period of her life. Breeding occurs during July and August, and the gestation period is 4 months. Usually, 4 identical babies are born, of the same gender, having developed from the same egg, sharing the same placenta. After birth, the young remain in the burrow, living off the mother's milk for about 3 months. They have soft leathery skin which develops into armor as they grow. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after 6 months to a year.

Population

Population threats

Nine-banded armadillos have many predators, including pumas, coyotes, maned wolves, black bears, red wolves, alligators, jaguars, and bobcats. Raptors prey on the young. Humans in many rural areas hunt armadillos for their skin and meat, and car accidents kill thousands of them each year. As they have a high reproduction rate and their numbers are currently increasing, nine-banded armadillos are not seen to be a threatened species.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Nine-banded armadillo total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are Stable.

Ecological niche

Nine-banded armadillos are important as predators of a range of common insects which are agricultural pests. Aside from being hunted for their meat, their skin is used to create various trinkets. These animals can damage the roots of plants. They provide shelter to shucks, rattlesnakes, burrowing owls, and cotton rats.

References

1. Nine-Banded Armadillo Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-banded_armadillo
2. Nine-Banded Armadillo Wikipedia article - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6290/0

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