Mammal with a Shell
Armadillos are the only mammals covered by a shell. But it’s different than a seashell or a tortoise shell. An armadillo’s shell is made up of bony plates covered by thick, hard skin.
The “armor” isn’t the only protection this armadillo has from predators.
Like us, the six-banded armadillo is most active during the day and likes to sleep at night in shelters or dens underground. These burrows are dug by the armadillo using their powerful shovel-like claws. Unfortunately, they have poor eyesight so any hunting they do is by sense of smell alone.
A six-banded armadillo uses its long, sharp front claws to dig into termite mounds to feast on the insects inside. It also uses them to break open tree bark to snack on beetle larvae hiding inside. Those claws are terrific tools!
Piper & Brooklyn
Female Sisters, born May 15th, 2017
Area: South America, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia
Habitat: Dry grassland and forest
Food: Ants, termites, beetle larvae and plants
Size: 8 1/2 to 10 3/4 inches long