Incredible Nine-Banded Armadillo Facts

Ashley | 09 - 01 - 2022
Nine-Banded Armadillos

Get ready to be hit with nine-banded armadillo facts. Armadillos have bulletproof shells and can withstand low-velocity shooting. 

How Did Armadillos Get Their Name?

Armadillos are the only mammals to have shells. Spanish conquistadores named the creature ‘little armored thing’ while the Aztecs named it Azo Tochtli meaning, ‘turtle rabbit’. 

Do you know how high these nine-banded armadillos can jump? The nine-banded ones are the largest armadillo species and can jump as high as three to four feet in the air. They are also fast runners and can run at a speed of 30 miles per hour. 

Do Armadillos Lay Eggs?
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

What Is the Life Cycle of Nine-Banded Armadillos?

Armadillos have poor eyesight and hearing. They navigate their way by sniffing for food and predators. Here are a few facts on a nine-banded armadillo’s life cycle.

Are Armadillos Marsupials?

No, armadillos don’t fall under marsupials, reptiles, or rodents. They belong to the placental mammal category and are closely related to anteaters and sloths. Do you know that among the 20 different armadillo species, the nine-banded ones are the only type of armadillos that can be found in the US?

What Do Armadillos Eat?

Armadillos are omnivores. Wild armadillos dig through the ground for insects and invertebrates and will never miss the opportunity to eat berries, bird eggs, and other small animals.  

Nine-banded Armadillos are nocturnal species and like to roam in solitary except during breeding season. Given their size armadillos have many predators and are often victims of roadkill in the US. 

Can Armadillos Attack Humans?

No, though armadillos cannot bite or attack humans. They never chase humans or baby predators and always run inside thorny bushes to protect themselves. Their armor keeps them safe from the thorns while the predators stay away.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you can keep them as pets. Nine-banded armadillos have undesirable habits like digging holes, eating out of garbage, and creating a mess. Plus, they have really strong claws that can puncture human skin accidentally.

How Do Armadillos Reproduce?

Nine-banded armadillos are mammals and contrary to their name, they can have more than 9 bands running around their shells. Do you know that even though a group of armadillos is called a roll, only 2 species of armadillos can roll into a band? The nine-banded kind doesn’t fall under this category. 

It takes about 4 months for females to get pregnant after breeding and another 4 months for the babies to be born. Armadillos give birth to five to six pups at a time. Armadillos are one of the few mammals having polyembryony reproduction i.e. more than one sperm can fertilize an egg. Thus, most armadillos are identical quadruplets of the same gender!

Can a Person Get Leprosy from Armadillos?

Leprosy doesn’t transmit from person to person nor from nine-banded armadillos. Armadillos are the only animals that have been infected with the m.leprae bacteria that causes leprosy in humans. Studies say that they could have contracted the disease after exposure to the bacteria from polluted landfills.

Is It Legal to Hunt Nine-Banded Armadillos?

Nine-banded armadillos are found in abundance in Florida and Texas. They are popularly known as ‘Poor man’s pork’. You can safely keep them off your property by sprinkling vinegar, ammonia, or mothballs. You can hunt them across the US using lawful methods.

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