30 Fascinating Facts About Armadillos

Armadillos come in a range of colors such as dark brown, black, red, gray, and yellow. Despite not being cuddly, they are still considered cute creatures due to their unique appearance.

These talented mammals can be found in various sizes and are one of the few mammals capable of laying eggs.

Discover 30 interesting facts about armadillos that are sure to impress you!

The name “armadillo” was given by Spanish explorers, which means “little armored thing.” There are 20 species of armadillos with only one found in North America, while the rest live in South America.

Unlike other mammals, armadillos have a hard shell covering their body, which is made of bone that grows directly from their vertebrae.

Armadillos can be found in grasslands, rainforests, and semi-arid locations and come in sizes ranging from 5-59 inches in length and 3-120 pounds in weight.

Giant armadillos that reach 59 inches can have up to 100 teeth and can be a range of colors including dark brown, black, red, gray, or yellow.

While it is commonly believed that all armadillos can curl up into a ball to defend themselves, only one species has this ability. Other armadillos will run or dig a hole to escape from danger.

Armadillos have a fantastic sense of smell to help them find food, as they have poor eyesight. They primarily eat insects, small mammals, roots, and fruit and have long, sticky tongues to suck up ants and termites.

Despite their heavy shell, armadillos are good swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 6 minutes. They can also gulp air into their intestines to become more buoyant when crossing large bodies of water.

Armadillos have fantastic climbing abilities, which allows them to go over obstacles they can’t burrow under.

In the wild, armadillos live for 4-7 years, while in captivity, they can live for 12-15 years. They are not social animals and only come together to mate or keep warm.

During the gestation period, which ranges from 2 to 5 months, one egg can produce up to 4 baby armadillos. The babies are born without bony plates, which develop after a few weeks.

Armadillos do their foraging during the morning and evening and can run up to 30mph to outrun their predators.

The shells of armadillos have been historically utilized in the creation of a musical instrument known as the charango, native to South America. With their weak immune systems, armadillos are frequently used in the study of illnesses like leprosy. The screaming hairy armadillo, a type of armadillo that screams loudly when threatened, is appropriately named. During the 2014 World Cup, an armadillo was chosen as the mascot, reflecting its unique ability to roll up into a ball.


1. What is an armadillo?

An armadillo is a small to medium-sized mammal that is native to the Americas. There are 21 species of armadillos, and they are known for their hard, bony plates that cover their bodies.

2. Where do armadillos live?

Armadillos are found in South, Central, and North America. They prefer warm, humid climates and can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, and deserts.

3. What do armadillos eat?

Armadillos are omnivores and eat a variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, fruits, and plants. Some species of armadillos are known to eat ants and termites exclusively.

4. How do armadillos defend themselves?

Armadillos have a few defense mechanisms, including their hard shells, which protect them from predators. They can also run quickly and can dig a hole to escape danger. Some species of armadillos can also roll into a ball, similar to a hedgehog.

5. How long do armadillos live?

Armadillos typically live for 7-20 years in the wild, depending on the species.

6. Do armadillos carry diseases?

Yes, some species of armadillos, such as the nine-banded armadillo, can carry leprosy, although the risk of transmission to humans is low.

7. Can armadillos swim?

Yes, armadillos are great swimmers and are able to hold their breath for up to six minutes.

8. Do armadillos make good pets?

No, armadillos do not make good pets. They are wild animals and require specific diets and habitats to thrive. In many states, it is illegal to own an armadillo as a pet.

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