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armadillo facts for kids

Armadillo is a Spanish word, translating to ‘little armoured one’, named by Spanish explorers to Latin America. Armadillos have short legs, but can move quite quickly. The underside of the animal is never armoured, and is simply covered with soft skin and fur. Their armor is a type of hardened skin. They have very poor eyesight, and utilize their keen sense of smell to hunt. This armour-like skin appears to be the main defense of many armadillos, although most escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armour protects them) or digging to safety. In addition to bugs, armadillos eat small vertebrates, plants, and some fruit, as well as the occassional carrion meal. Here are 13 Interesting Armadillo facts. There are about 10 living genera and about 20 species of armadillo. Armadillos have very poor eyesight, and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species frequently roll up into a ball. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates. The nine-banded armadillo prefers to build burrows in moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos around which it lives and feeds. The armour is formed by plates of dermal bone covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called "scutes", composed of bone with a covering of horn. Armadillo facts: Interesting facts about Armadillos. This page was last modified on 21 October 2020, at 15:17. The Giant Armadillo grows up to 100 cm (39 in) and weigh 30 kg (66lbs). Contrary to popular belief, not all armadillos are able to encase themselves in their shells. Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. Armadillos are the only living mammals that wear such shells. they always have id. The living ones have a leathery armored shell. However their body has been adapted to their surroundings in the process of evolution. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. The young are born with soft, leathery skin which hardens within a few weeks. Nine-banded armadillos are known for often giving birth to four identical pups. Armadillos are in the Cingulata, an order of New World placental mammals. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one". In fact, only the three-banded armadillo can, curling its head and back feet and contorting its shell into a hard ball that confounds would-be predators. Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals. Because of their low metabolic rate and lack of fat stores, cold is their enemy, and spates of intemperate weather can wipe out whole populations. Armadillos are like mammals and give birth to young ones and wean them with milk like any other mammals. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- All rights reserved. There Are 21 Identified Armadillo Species. The diets of different armadillo species vary, but consist mainly of insects, grubs, and other invertebrates. Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. Species range in length from about 6 inches (15 centimeters) to 5 feet (1.5 meters). The largest species, the giant armadillo, can be the size of a small pig and weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb), and can be 150 cm (59 in) long. Armadillos can be pinkish, dark-brown, black, red, gray or yellowish in color. They dig their burrows with their claws, making only a single corridor the width of the animal's body. Many species are endangered. Armadillos are stout with short legs and strong, curved claws. They reach sexual maturity in three to 12 months, depending on the species. Others have black, red, gray, or yellowish coloring. Additional armour covers the top of the head, the upper parts of the limbs, and the tail. Armadillos species are mostly found in South and Central America, especially around Paraguay. They use their claws for digging and finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows. The North American nine-banded armadillo tends to jump straight in the air when surprised, so consequently often collides with the undercarriage or fenders of passing vehicles. Only the South American three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes) rely heavily on their armour for protection. Their average length is about 75 centimeters (30 in), including the tail. Some species, however, feed almost entirely on ants and termites. The familiar nine-banded armadillo is the only species that includes the United States in its range. Most members of the genus Dasypus give birth to four monozygotic young (that is, identical quadruplets), but other species may have typical litter sizes that range from one to eight.

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