Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one”. The aptly named Nine-Banded Armadillo has nine “bands" of bony plates around its body known as scutes. Despite what many may think, there is only one (1) armadillo species that can completely curl up into a well armored ball, the Three Banded Armadillo which is found only in South America. Nonetheless, these hard, bony plates serve the animal well as far as a hard outer covering can for protection. The hard shell covers most of the soft parts and proves to be a invaluable natural defense!
Weighing in at a small 12 -15 pounds and measuring close to 45 inches (including a 14 inch tail) this docile, mostly non-aggressive animal can wreak a bit of havoc in your landscape.
The lifespan of the armadillo can range from 8 years to 20 years. Scientists attribute this rather extensive range to their habitat, and the extended length of some to the lack of natural enemies. Some the natural enemies the armadillo faces in North America include the Florida panther, wolves, coyotes, black bear, jaguars and raptors, and the automobile.