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Facts about the Nine Banded Armadillo of USA
The name ‘Armadillo’ is derived from Spanish word meaning “little armed”. Armadillos have almost twenty species mostly living in South America but this nine banded armadillo is the one that you can find in USA alone. His face is similar to the pork ones, its ears look like rabbit’s ears and covered with nine bands of armor plates giving an impression of an armed vehicle.
Now let’s move towards some amazing features with which the animal is blessed. The armor shell of nine bands are separated by flexible spine which can be quickly used for bending and curling purposes. When there is any risk for armadillo it bends itself in a circular position to form a protective ball by using its shield which enclose its belly, head and other weaker parts of the body. Armadillos are the only living mammals that wear such shells.
It has small but powerful legs to move rapidly. Another unique characteristic of this species is to blow up air in its stomach and intestines that makes its size almost double and he does it when he has to swim across the streams. Without air in his stomach the armadillo cannot swim as its shield density is much heavier. Armadillo can hold their breath as long as 6 minutes and remain under water for that time.
With its razor sharp claws and strong legs it digs the burrows in which they sleep up to 16 hours a day. It has weak eyesight but uses its sense of smell to hunt beetles, ants, termites, and other insects. With the help of sticky saliva and a sticky tongue it can suck insects, little reptiles and even some crops as a meal.
Another defense mechanism is Armadillo can jump 3-4 feet in the air to escape from his arch enemy; snake. But do mind jumping Armadillos while you drive through Texas as they can cause extensive damage to the grill and radiator of the car forcing you to spend the night on road-side.