The nine banded armadillo, also known as the long-nosed armadillo is considered to be the weirdest mammal. It is mostly native to many parts of North, South and Central America. It is the most widely occurring species of armadillo in the world. When frightened, this animal can jump about 3 feet to 4 feet in the air. The nine banded armadillo can have around 7 to 11 bands on its outer armor.
Let’s find out everything there is to know about this mammal.
Nine Banded Armadillo Scientific Classification
Species: D. novemcinctus
The nine-banded armadillo is known for its unusual physical characteristics that make this medium-sized mammal stand out from others. The length of the nine-banded armadillo ranges between 15 inches and 23 inches. The color of the armadillo’s body is brownish-grey. Numerous scutes or bony plates cover the head, body, tail and legs of the creature and they have soft underparts.
The length of the tail is around 14 to 15 inches. Nine-banded armadillo also has got many jointed narrow armor bands around the midsection that makes it easier for the animal to bend. These armadillos also have got a pointed head along with a lengthy snout, peg-like teeth and large pointed ears. The front feet are equipped with sharp and thick claws which they can use for digging and burrowing.
The nine banded armadillo has a wide distribution range. They can be spotted in many states like Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. As their populations are growing with every passing day, they are now expanding in all directions like north, east and west.
These armadillos love staying in the bottomland hardwood forests, scrubs and brush-lands. They loves areas where the weather is warm and has got plenty of food.
They are typically seen close to savannas and grasslands as the soil here is ideal for digging burrows. The armadillos inflate their intestine and stomach when in water. They can also sink down in the water and use claws to easily walk across. They can have multiple burrows for themselves.
Have a look at the distinct behavioral traits of these nine-banded armadillos.
Armadillos are insectivorous and use their strong sense of smell for locating their prey. Their diet typically comprises of ants, grubs, insects, termites and worms. Armadillos have also been found consuming fruits, amphibians, small reptiles and bird’s eggs. They are also attracted to maggots.
The nine banded armadillos are solitary in nature but they mate in the summer season. Once the egg has been fertilized, implantation is typically delayed for 7 months. This means that the young armadillos are usually born during the spring. These armadillos can give birth to 4 babies in a single litter. Young ones are always identical quadruplets.
The protective armor around their body takes about a few weeks to harden.
These armadillos live for about 12 to 15 years.
Check out the interesting facts about the Nine Banded Armadillos.
Armadillos are very active in nature which means that they can run at very high speeds when they are attacked. Some of their natural predators include cougars, maned wolves, red wolves, black bears, jaguars, alligators, bobcats and large raptors.
Armadillos are well known for spreading the disease of leprosy. Other than humans, they are the only mammals to carry the leprosy bacillus. Numerous confirmed cases have been found where armadillos were responsible of spreading leprosy to humans.
IUCN has categorized the nine banded armadillo as a least concern species.
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