Weight averages at about 1.5 lbs. The armor consists of the shield on the head, a small shield between the ears on the back of the neck, and the carapace which protects the shoulders, back, sides and rump. The banded portion of the carapace has about 18 bands, of which usually 7 to 8 are movable. These animals have more hair than most armadillos.
The armadillos are powerful diggers and live in burrows. Activity is largely nocturnal in summer, to avoid the desert heat, and diurnal in winter. When pursued, the armadillo at first attempts to run away, often emitting a snarling sound. If unable to find a hole, it tries to burrow into the ground. If overtaken while running or it does not have a chance to burrow, it draws in its feet so that the edges of its armor are in contact with the ground.They burrow under animal carcasses to obtain maggots and other insects.
Class: Mammal (Mammalia)
Conservation Education Program AnimalMore Info
Range: Western Bolivia to Paraguay and central Argentina
Habitat: Semi-desert conditions in open areas
Wild Diet: Grubs, insects, small rodents and lizards, plant material in winter
The armadillos usually inhabit open areas and seem best adapted to semi-desert conditions. They are powerful diggers and live in burrows. The burrows of armadillos are usually on sloping sand dunes and are several meters long and more than a meter deep. Activity is largely nocturnal in summer, to avoid the desert heat, and diurnal in winter. When threatened, they often emit a loud squeal. If unable to find a hole, they try to burrow into the ground. If overtaken while running, or if they do not have a chance to burrow, they draw in their feet so that the edges of their armor are in contact with the ground, and thus protect themselves against canid and avian predators. They anchor themselves in their burrows by spreading their feet and bending their bodies so that the free hind edges of the bands grasp the walls of the burrow. They regularly burrow under animal carcasses to obtain maggots and other insects and sometimes burrow into the carcasses.
They have been observed to kill small snakes by throwing themselves upon the snakes and cutting them with the edges of the shell. Under certain conditions they obtain grubs and insects from a few centimeters below the surface of the ground by the unusual method of forcing a hole in the ground with the head and then turning the body in a circle so that a conical hole is formed without any digging. During the summer they feed mostly on insects but also feed on a number of rodents, lizards and other small vertebrates. They rely heavily on plant material, especially in the winter, when over half of their diet consists of vegetation. The armadillos are powerful diggers and live in burrows.
Mating usually occurs in September. There is said to be more than one
litter annually. Litters usually consist of two young, often one male
and one female. The young weigh about 5.4 ounces at birth, open their
eyes after 16 to 30 days, and reach sexual maturity at 9 months.
Gestation: 60-75 days
Conservation Status: Least Concern