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WHAT IS THE ARMADILLO?


Armadillos are very interesting creatures. They look like mini tanks with their body armor that protects them from predators. Armadillos do not really pose a threat to humans, but they are capable of harming people with their strong claws if they are handled incorrectly, but in most cases they will run away when they feel that they are in danger. They will probably also emit a very strong musty smell that usually increases when they feel they are in danger. Most people who have had encounters with the animals have reported that the armadillo pretty much ignored them unless they did anything overtly threatening.



Armadillos generally spend the day sleeping in the safety of burrows. They may have as many as twelve burrows located throughout their range, which they dig with their strong front claws, kicking away the excavated dirt with their hind legs. Each burrow may be from 20 inches to 12 feet below the surface of the ground. The burrow consists of a labyrinth of tunnels that can be as long as 23 feet.














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Two or more of the tunnels have nest chambers, which the animal lines with grass and weeds. Nine-banded armadillos will share their burrows only with members of the same sex. Each animal has its own territory, but those of males often overlap. Territories are marked with scent. Days are spent in whichever burrow is nearest at the end of the night's wanderings. The lifespan of an Armadillo is up to 20 years in captivity for the nine-banded armadillo.

I would guess that the average lifespan in the wild would be between five to seven years. Armadillos generally feed at night on insects, small animals, birds' eggs, fungi, roots, and fruits. It uses its strong sense of smell to detect food. Its long snout has particularly sensitive nostrils. Using its long, sticky tongue, the armadillo can eat more than 40,000 ants at one feeding.

 

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