Only one of the twenty-odd varieties of armadillos — the three-banded armadillo ( Tolypeutes tricinctus) — is able to roll up . The other types are covered with too many bony plates to allow them to curl up. Other armadillos have to rely on their armored shells for defense while they scuttle away through thick,.
A common misconception is that nine-banded armadillos can roll up into spherical balls . In reality, only two species of armadillo (both three-banded) are able to roll up completely. Nine-banded armadillos are about 2.5 feet (0.7 meters) long from the nose to the tip of the tail and weigh an average of 12 pounds (5 kilograms).
One thought is that contrary to popular belief, the nine-banded armadillo can not roll itself into a ball to escape predators!! Only one of the twenty-odd varieties of armadillos — the three -banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) — is able to roll up.
What is an armadillo?
Armadillo is actually a Spanish word meaning “ little armored one ” and refers to the bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail of most of these odd-looking creatures. Their alien look and behavior have made a rather big cloud of myths and stories about them.
What is the anatomy of an armadillo?
For more on armadillo anatomy, see the About Armadillos page . Like most insect eating mammals, armadillos have a very long, sticky tongue to slurp up bugs as quickly as possible. They also are equipped with strong claws to tear open ant nests. Their cousins, the anteaters, have very similar tongues and claws.
Then, what are some interesting facts about armadillos?
One answer is, the three-banded armadillo is the only species that can roll into a ball for protection. Armadillos are barrel-shaped animals covered with natural armor. In fact, its name in Spanish means “little armored one.” The armadillo’s armor works well against most predators, but not against cars.
Why do armadillos have three bands on their arms?
The number of armored bands identifies the different species, according to the San Diego Zoo. Only one species, the three-banded armadillo, can roll itself into a hard armored ball to defend itself against predators.
How do armadillos defend themselves?
Other armadillos have to rely on their armored shells for defense while they scuttle away through thick, thorny brush or dig themselves a hole to hide in. For more on this, see the Three-banded Armadillo page.
How do armadillos defend themselves from predators?
Only one species, the three-banded armadillo, can roll itself into a hard armored ball to defend itself against predators. Other armadillo species simply dig a hole quickly and hunker down so that their tender stomach is protected and their armor is the only thing visible.
Are armadillos good swimmers?
For more on this, see the Three-banded Armadillo page. Armadillos are not blind, but they do have poor eyesight. Armadillos are used in leprosy research because their body temperatures are low enough for them to contract the most virulent form of the disease. Armadillos like to swim, and they are very good at it.