The armadillo is one the most interesting creatures you could find in your yard. Its armored body and tail lend many to envision our prehistoric past when they see an armadillo crossing their path. The armadillo has many behavior traits as well that have led the way to some tall tales about the animals. This page highlights some of the more interesting truths and myths of the armadillo.
Armadillo Interesting Facts-Behavior
- After preying on ant hills, Nine-banded armadillos often roll around vigorously. Why? Ants are a favorite of the armadillo, but as one might presume, if one dines on an ant hill they might acquire some uninvited guests. This vigorous rolling could be attributed to the animal trying to remove ants from their outer plates!
- All armadillos can roll into an armored ball when threatened. Not true. Only one (1) variety has the capability of completely rolling into a ball, the Three- banded armadillo. This variety is found only in South America.
Armadillo Interesting Facts-Burrows
- They may have up to twelve (12) burrows that can be from 20 inches to 6 feet below the surface.
The armadillo spends most of its time underground. It both lives and feeds under the earth so it should be no surprise that the animal can have quite a complex set of burrows. For more detailed information on the physical size of the burrows please visit our Evidence of Intrusion page.
- Armadillos will share their burrows with members of the same sex.
Roommates are not an issue with the armadillo. These animals are one of the least aggressive mammals on earth! Watch out for new moms, however, who tend to be a little more discriminating with their roommates!
- Days are spent in whichever burrow is closest when the sun rises. Getting out of harm's way is more important that being in the home you built.
Armadillo Interesting Facts-Reproduction
- The female always gives birth to four (4) identical young. This means that there are always four (4) brothers or four (4) sisters born; never a combination of both! And, believe it or not, the young are born in the spring and have been known to begin breeding the same summer!
Armadillo Interesting Facts-Transportation/Expansion
- The Nine-banded armadillo is the only armadillo species that can swim. To achieve buoyancy it inflates its stomach and intestines with air. It can also cross a small river or stream by holding its breath and walking across the bottom for up to six (6) minutes!
- The Nine-banded armadillo is a common stow away That's right! Nine-banded armadillos have been known to regularly stow away aboard trains which have helped them get around the southern United States.
Armadillo Interesting Facts-Nicknames
- Armadillo, AKA, Grave Diggers in rural Texas The armadillo is a digger and freshly turned dirt would make for easy pickin's - you fill in the rest!
- The Nine-banded armadillo’s population has risen such that they are beginning to find a new natural predator - the car! Yes, indeed, the increase in armadillos in the south central United States has earned it the nickname, “Hillbilly Speed Bump”.
- Armadillo tastes like pork-according to many a connoisseur The "Hoover Hog" is a nickname that came about during the 1920's when President Hebert Hoover presided over the nation claiming as part of his campaign promises a "chicken in every pot". When, instead, his presidency occurred during the great depression which forced many families to dine on more affordable fare-the armadillo! The flavorful armadillo is still considered to be good eating in many parts of the Americas.