We headed out to find one of the most iconic animals of the southwest today! We didn’t have to travel far- these funny armored mammals were hanging out right in our camp! Often only seen as roadkill it was fun to observe one wandering around in the wild.
Nine banded armadillo fun facts:
- Armadillos are related to sloths and anteaters. Their relatives, including the giant armadillos have been on earth for around 50 million years.
- They are carnivores. They can eat up to 40,000 ants at a time!
- Unlike other mammals who must maintain a high body temperature, they keep their temp at around 90 degrees.
- They can grow up to 30 inches long.
- Not all nine banded armadillos have nine bands- they can have anywhere from 8 to 11 bands.
- These nocturnal animals are covered in a keratin based armor, except on their ears, legs and underside.
- Nine banded armadillos live in burrows that they dig.
- These armadillos are unable to curl up in to a ball to avoid predators.
Armadillos are definitely odd looking with their built in suit of armor, their pig like snouts and their clawed feet. We always love seeing them forage for grubs. And can you believe they are related to sloths?
I don’t think I have ever seen a live armadillo in the wild. Maybe this year in AZ when we go back. *crosses fingers*
Related to sloths!? Wow! I had no idea! We have a few that live on our property and we often see them or hear them in our yard at night snorting and rooting for grubs.