Today we talk about the incredible and unique creature of nature – The Armadillos and their diet plan. Well! We all know that the energy requirements of a body are fulfilled through what we intake as food and so the fact prevails that the world goes round food. But before we check out the dietary habits of this mammal let’s check out some quick facts and the tiny member of wildlife a little.
What Do Armadillos Eat?
Is Armadillos really a mammal?
Yes! This organism looks somewhat different from the rest of it mammal mates but is undoubtedly a part of the group and surprisingly the only living mammal with such plate bearing skin which survives even today.
Scientific nomenclature: Cingulata
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Higher classification: Xenathra
Gestation period: 121.7 days
Let’s dine with them…
Being a mammal they are not so choosy about what they want to feed on and so they choose both plants and animals rather insects for their appetitiary satisfaction which makes them a complete omnivorous in nature.
In general armadillos feed on grubs, worms, and ants. But their natural diet also includes cockroaches, beetles, and snails showing their carnivorous side.
Armadillos predominantly feed on larva, termites, and beetle. Thanks to their powerful claws and forelimbs which allow them to jab the ground to take out termites and ant mounds. They are also known to consume fallen fruits. Armadillos munch on food with the help of their peg-teeth that lies to the side of jaws
In plant kingdom they simply love to hog on stuff like various fruits and lettuce if provided.
What do Armadillos eat – Knowing them better at their nutrition level
If you want to invite this little guest for dinner make sure you have ants. Well! Yes they simply love ants as their food and are quite famous for snaking them.
Though considered as an omnivorous some believe they are a pure non vegetarian at heart as their 90% of the diet is composed of insects and their larvae.
The menu for them won’t be near to completion if we miss the scorpions, spiders, earthworm and other invertebrates are even not spared by the insect eater.
If evidences are to believe few vertebrates can also fall as prey to them. It has been found that though rarely but they also vertebrates nevertheless to a limited extent and narrow spectrum. This list includes small frogs, snakes, snails, and eggs of these animals.
It is a rare sight but have been reported that they don’t hesitate to eat small ground nesting birds and their eggs.
Among the green living beings that are the plant kingdom, some of the species belonging to armadillos feed on vegetable matter, berries, and delicate leaf roots in leaf molds. Pupae in carrion and maggots are also preferred if are not left with many choices.
It’s a complete miracle that armadillos are a renowned garden and lawn hunter with exceptionally poor eyesight which makes it a difficult task for any other creature bearing that little bodily structure.
It’s a bit hard to trust such facts but record do yell to convey that they are a complete reliant on their sense of smell. They go after the prey with their body odor and amazingly their tour have been always fruitful.
And the rest of the trick is performed by their long and sticky tongue which helps them in catching ants and the other mentioned insects.
Another mentionable point runs across is that they are night hunters which only clarifies the above discussed scripture that they have poor eyesight.
Types of Armadillo and feeding habit
Nine – Banded armadillo: This inhabitant of southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America is a small dog sized armadillo.
This can grow no more than a length of about 18 inches.
Coming on its hunting style, like the other armadillos it also exhibits a very strong sense of smell which obviously helps in locating its prey.
This one is a bit fussy about its food and so it just can’t compromise without having grubs, insects, and worms.
But sometimes settle to fruits, small reptiles, and amphibians and can also agree for bird’s eggs.
Southern long nosed armadillo: This mammal species dwells in grasslands of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil.
These members of the group are distinguishable as they are grey in colour and can rise in length up to 25 to 50 cm.
You can simply call it a hard working creature as it only lives in its self-made small burrows.
As the other omnivorous it is not so fickle minded when it comes to dining. It generally eats invertebrates but can also have scraps and vegetables for a change.
Pink fairy armadillo: Pichiciega is another name provided for this smallest member of the armadillo group.
These small 90 to 115 mm animal resides in the sandy plains of central Argentina and dry grasslands are prolific diggers.
Coming on their nutritive nature they can’t be so demanding keeping in mind their location and availability they simply goes for whatever they can explore in dry grasslands and sandy soil which often include ants, worms and a little bit of plant material.
Screaming hairy armadillo: Quite popular as screaming armadillo, small hairy armadillo, or crying armadillo is another fellow insider of the armadillo family.
By this time you now must have guessed a concrete reason behind its name and of course it is due to its uncommon habit of squealing when threatened or carelessly handled.
Its slender specie covered with closed prickly hairs.
It is somewhat more peculiar about its food as it not only feeds upon the common armadillo eatable like insects, plant matter, and invertebrates but also like to explore the vertebrate spectrum of food.
The most common organisms falling as a prey to this distinct animal are lizards, birds, frogs, and even mice.
The Giant armadillo: This endangered armadillo type inhabits near water grasslands, bush land, woodland and forest habitats.
As the name itself reveals its gigantic description in its family by being 60 inches long and weighing almost 130 pounds.
If you are wondering that this out an out thing of its own type must be having something different for its breakfast then let me make it clear that its diet is made up of the usual armadillo cuisine and nothing special which includes spiders, termites, snakes , worms , larvae and carrion.
Now you know What Do Armadillos Eat. Share it with your friends and family.