The smallest species, the pink fairy armadillo, is roughly chipmunk-sized at 85 g (3.0 oz) and 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) in total length. Armadillos are mammals, just like you. Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals. ", "Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus Animal Model for Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)", "Physiological variability in neonatal armadillo quadruplets: within- and between-litter differences", "Armadillos Can Transmit Leprosy to Humans, Federal Studies Confirm", "Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southeastern United States", "Probable Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southern United States", Photographs of armadillo rolling into a ball,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 07:47. This armour-like skin appears to be the main defense of many armadillos, although most escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armour protects them) or digging to safety. Alternatively, the animal can gulp enough air into its digestive system to make itself buoyant and swim away. Due to the continent's former isolation, they were confined there for most of the Cenozoic. The largest species, the giant armadillo, can reach the size of a small pig and weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb), and can be 150 cm (59 in) long. The size of armadillos varies considerably. Many species are endangered. [8] Their range has consistently expanded in North America over the last century due to a lack of natural predators. Armadillo shells have traditionally been used to make the back of the charango, an Andean lute instrument. Armadillos are characterized by a leathery armour shell and long sharp claws for digging. All armadillos possess a set of plates called the carapace that covers much of the body, including the head and, in most species, the legs and tail. The word armadillo means "little armoured one" in Spanish. Armadillos are timid. Armadillos are mammals, thus making them warm blooded creatures. Eight-banded individuals of this species are common in some regions. Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. .mw-parser-output table.clade{border-spacing:0;margin:0;font-size:100%;line-height:100%;border-collapse:separate;width:auto}.mw-parser-output table.clade table.clade{width:100%;line-height:inherit}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label{width:0.7em;padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:bottom;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;border-bottom:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width{overflow:hidden;text-overflow:ellipsis}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-fixed-width:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.first{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel{padding:0 0.15em;vertical-align:top;text-align:center;border-left:1px solid;white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel:hover{overflow:visible}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.last{border-left:none;border-right:none}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel.reverse{border-left:none;border-right:1px solid}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar{vertical-align:middle;text-align:left;padding:0 0.5em;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar.reverse{text-align:right;position:relative}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf{border:0;padding:0;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leafR{border:0;padding:0;text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf.reverse{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkA{background-color:yellow}.mw-parser-output table.clade:hover span.linkB{background-color:green}, Recent genetic research suggests that an extinct group of giant armoured mammals, the glyptodonts, should be included within the lineage of armadillos, having diverged some 35 million years ago, more recently than previously assumed. Most species have rigid shields over the shoulders and hips, with a number of bands separated by flexible skin covering the back and flanks. The phylogenetic affinities of the extinct glyptodonts. [15], Gestation lasts from 60 to 120 days, depending on species, although the nine-banded armadillo also exhibits delayed implantation, so the young are not typically born for eight months after mating. The smallest species, the pink fairy armadillo, is roughly chipmunk-sized at 85 g (3.0 oz) and 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) in total length. Armadillos live primarily in warm habits, including areas such as Texas, Florida, Central, and South America. [11], The armour is formed by plates of dermal bone covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called "scutes", composed of bone with a covering of horn. Some armadillos are very small, while others are huge. A whimsical account of The Beginning of the Armadillos is one of the chapters of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories 1902 children's book. [13], Armadillos have short legs, but can move quite quickly. Armadillos have numerous cheek teeth which are not divided into premolars and molars, but usually have no incisors or canines. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of different environments. Other species that display this trait include parasitoid wasps, certain flatworms, and various aquatic invertebrates. An armadillo's armor is made up of overlapping plates covering the back, h… Armadillos meaning "little armoured ones" in Spanish are New World placental mammals in the order Cingulata. If captured, it reacts by “playing dead,” either stiffening or relaxing but in either case remaining perfectly still. There are twenty different species of armadillos. That's why always an armadillo litter contains offspring of … The nine-banded armadillo leaps vertically when startled. Below is a recent simplified phylogeny of the xenarthran families, which includes armadillos, based on Slater et al. Evolutionary relationships among extinct and extant sloths: the evidence of mitogenomes and retroviruses. )[17] Humans can acquire a leprosy infection from armadillos by handling them or consuming armadillo meat. Armadillos are known to carry leprosy — in fact, they are the only wild animals other than humans upon which the picky M. leprae can stand to live — and scientists suspected that these anomalous cases were due to contact with the little armored tootsie rolls. Three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes) are able to roll into a solid ball as a means of protecting their vulnerable underparts. (2016). Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates. They are particularly susceptible due to their unusually low body temperature, which is hospitable to the leprosy bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae. [6], Like all of the Xenarthra lineages, armadillos originated in South America. Genome Biology and Evolution, evw023. Armadillos have very poor eyesight, and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. During the Great Depression, Americans were known to eat armadillo, known begrudgingly as "Hoover hogs", a nod to the belief that President Herbert Hoover was responsible for the economic despair facing the nation at that time.[26][27]. They have short legs, but can move quite quickly. They are prolific diggers. [18] Armadillos are a presumed vector and natural reservoir for the disease in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Most of the 20 species inhabit open areas, such as grasslands, but some also live in forests. The recent formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed a few members of the family to migrate northward into southern North America by the early Pleistocene, as part of the Great American Interchange. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The three-, six-, and nine-banded armadillos are named for the number of movable bands in their armour.

are armadillos mammals

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