When you think about armadillos, you see an image of an armored animal that folds itself into its shell when it is in danger. However, there are more facts about this animal that are unknown to most people and are quite interesting.
The armadillo is a close relative to anteaters and sloths and has subspecies that have different characteristics and adaptations for survival. The three-banded armadillo is the most common, and it can fold itself into its shell when it is in danger, but the five-banded armadillo can jump as high as four to six feet when it is in harm’s way.
FUN FACT #1: ARMADILLOS ARE ANTISOCIAL
Armadillos generally keep to themselves and avoid interaction with other animals and humans. They live in burrows, and the male might stay with two to three females during the mating season and will leave the burrow once mating is over. The females tend to their young alone and do so in burrows.
FUN FACT #2: ARMADILLOS ARE ALMOST BLIND
This is an interesting fact because armadillos have a knack for finding food, snacks, and the best homes. A blind animal should be clumsy and open to attack, but not armadillos. They have a keen sense of smell that serves them for both vision and signal of danger. They are also quick animals that can run from danger into their maze of tunnels. They have feet adapted for digging, and they are excellent at hiding from danger.
FUN FACT #3: ARMADILLOS ARE OMNIVORES
Unlike most animals that are either carnivores or herbivores, armadillos eat both plants and animals. When they infest your garden or home, you know that they are there because they leave the indigestible debris at the entrance of their burrow. This debris is a mix of insects, grubs, and plants. They prefer animals that are smaller than they are and succulent fruits like berries. So they become frequent visitors to a garden that has a generous supply of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve noticed that armadillos have been frequently visiting your property or eating your vegetation, you may have an infestation. Click here if you have an armadillo problem.
FUN FACT #4: ARMADILLOS REACT UNIQUELY TO FRIGHT
When armadillos feel that they are in danger, they react differently. They will try to escape if their burrows are close, but if they cannot do that, different species of armadillos will react very uniquely to danger or threats. The three-banded armadillo will curl itself up in a ball and roll away. Its armor disallows the predator from getting to its soft parts and protects it from harm. The nine-banded armadillo will jump several feet high when it is in fright. However, this may get it killed, especially on roads and highways.
The screaming armadillo screams when frightened, however, it is an aggressive armadillo that attacks its predators when they come for it.
FUN FACT #5: ARMADILLOS SLEEP A WHOLE LOT
You may have heard of people sleeping like sloths. Armadillos also sleep that way. They sleep for 16 hours a day and only come out to hunt at night. They love moist areas that are close to food and water sources and would rather avoid instances of stress.
Armadillos are lovable animals, and even with the fun facts included above, there is still more information that you can learn about them!