|Nine-banded armadillo range|
The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. It is the state small mammal of Texas.Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.
The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss.
Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and the steppe of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. Lands typically referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America. The term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, hillier land to the east.
Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. True rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator ; they are a sub-set of the tropical forest biome that occurs roughly within the 28 degree latitudes. Within the World Wildlife Fund's biome classification, tropical rainforests are a type of tropical moist broadleaf forest that also includes the more extensive seasonal tropical forests.
The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only regularly occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate. As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, and Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east. In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, and within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state. In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington). Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
The Rio Grande is one of the principal rivers in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. The Rio Grande begins in south-central Colorado in the United States and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, it forms part of the Mexico–United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 1,896 miles (3,051 km) in the late 1980s, though course shifts occasionally result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is either the fourth- or fifth-longest river system in North America.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles, especially in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, and occasionally bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits, and seeds are occasionally eaten.
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of eating insects.
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle.
Beetles are a group of insects that form the order Coleoptera, in the superorder Endopterygota. Their front pair of wings are hardened into wing-cases, elytra, distinguishing them from most other insects. The Coleoptera, with about 400,000 species, is the largest of all orders, constituting almost 40% of described insects and 25% of all known animal life-forms; new species are discovered frequently. The largest of all families, the Curculionidae (weevils) with some 70,000 member species, belongs to this order. Found in almost every habitat except the sea and the polar regions, they interact with their ecosystems in several ways: beetles often feed on plants and fungi, break down animal and plant debris, and eat other invertebrates. Some species are serious agricultural pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle, while others such as Coccinellidae eat aphids, scale insects, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects that damage crops.
Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14.3 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillos. Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell. The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae attach to the carapace. The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America. Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments. Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging. Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded armadillo, the actual number varies by geographic range. Armadillos possess the teeth typical of all sloths and anteaters. The teeth are all small, peg-like molars with open roots and no enamel. Incisors do form in the embryos, but quickly degenerate and are usually absent by birth.
Ossification in bone remodeling is the process of laying down new bone material by cells called osteoblasts. It is synonymous with bone tissue formation. There are two processes resulting in the formation of normal, healthy bone tissue: Intramembranous ossification is the direct laying down of bone into the primitive connective tissue (mesenchyme), while endochondral ossification involves cartilage as a precursor. In fracture healing, endochondral osteogenesis is the most commonly occurring process, for example in fractures of long bones treated by plaster of Paris, whereas fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation with metal plates, screws, pins, rods and nails may heal by intramembranous osteogenesis.
A scute or scutum is a bony external plate or scale overlaid with horn, as on the shell of a turtle, the skin of crocodilians, and the feet of birds. The term is also used to describe the anterior portion of the mesonotum in insects as well as some arachnids.
In zoology, the epidermis is an epithelium that covers the body of a eumetazoan. Eumetazoa have a cavity lined with a similar epithelium, the gastrodermis, which forms a boundary with the epidermis at the mouth.
Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, feces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Males hold breeding territories and may become aggressive in order to keep other males out of their home range to increase chances of pairing with a female. Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger.
Scent glands are exocrine glands found in most mammals. They produce semi-viscous secretions which contain pheromones and other semiochemical compounds. These odor-messengers indicate information such as status, territorial marking, mood, and. The odor may be subliminal—not consciously detectable. Though it is not their primary function, the salivary glands may also function as scent glands in some animals.
If alarmed, nine-banded armadillos can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo’s armor or grasp its tapered tail.Due to their softer carapaces, juvenile armadillos are more likely to fall victim to natural predation and their cautious behavior generally reflects this. Young nine-banded armadillos tend to forage earlier in the day and are more wary of the approach of an unknown animal (including humans) than are adults. Their known natural predators include cougars (perhaps the leading predator), maned wolves, coyotes, black bears, red wolves, jaguars, alligators, bobcats, and large raptors. By far the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year.
Mating takes place during a two-to-three month long mating season, which occurs from July–August in the Northern Hemisphere and November–January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be born during an unfavorable time. Once the zygote does implant in the uterus, a gestation period of four months occurs, during which the zygote splits into four identical embryos, attached by a common placenta.They are born in March and weigh 3 oz (85 g). After birth, the quadruplets remain in the burrow, living off the mother’s milk for about three months. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a year.
Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the rest of their 12–to-15 year lifespans. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life. This high reproductive rate is a major cause of the species’ rapid expansion.
The foraging of nine-banded armadillo can cause mild damage to the root systems of certain plants. Skunks, cotton rats, burrowing owls, pine snakes, and rattlesnakes can be found living in abandoned armadillo burrows.Occasionally, the armadillo may threaten the endangered gopher tortoise by aggressively displacing them from their burrows and claiming the burrows for themselves. Studies have shown the fan-tailed warbler habitually follows armadillos to feed on insects and other invertebrates displaced by them.
They are typically hunted for their meat, which is said to taste like pork, but are more frequently killed as a result of their tendency to steal the eggs of poultry and game birds. This has caused certain populations of the nine-banded armadillo to become threatened, although the species as a whole is under no immediate threat.They are also valuable for use in medical research, as they are among the few mammals other than humans susceptible to leprosy. In Texas, nine-banded armadillos are raised to participate in armadillo racing, a small-scale, but well-established sport in which the animals scurry down a 40-foot track.
During the Great Depression, the species was hunted for its meat in East Texas, where it was known as poor man’s pork, [ citation needed ] In 1995, the nine-banded armadillo was, with some resistance, made the state small mammal of Texas, where it is considered a pest and is often seen dead on the roadside. They first forayed into Texas across the Rio Grande from Mexico in the 19th century, eventually spreading across the southeast United States.or the "Hoover hog" by those who considered President Herbert Hoover to be responsible for the Depression. Earlier, German settlers in Texas would often refer to the armadillo as Panzerschwein ("armored pig").
North American subspecies exhibit reduced genetic variability compared with the subspecies of South America, indicating the armadillos of North America are descended from a relatively small number of individuals that migrated from south of the Rio Grande.
Armadillos are New World placental mammals in the order Cingulata. The Chlamyphoridae and Dasypodidae are the only surviving families in the order, which is part of the superorder Xenarthra, along with the anteaters and sloths. Nine extinct genera and 21 extant species of armadillo have been described, some of which are distinguished by the number of bands on their armour. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of different environments.
The giant armadillo, colloquially tatou, ocarro, tatu-canastra or tatú carreta, is the largest living species of armadillo. It lives in South America, ranging throughout as far south as northern Argentina. This species is considered vulnerable to extinction.
The six-banded armadillo, also known as the yellow armadillo, is an armadillo found in South America. The sole extant member of its genus, it was first described by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. The six-banded armadillo is typically between 40 and 50 centimeters in head-and-body length, and weighs 3.2 to 6.5 kilograms. The carapace is pale yellow to reddish brown, marked by scales of equal length, and scantily covered by buff to white bristle-like hairs. The forefeet have five distinct toes, each with moderately developed claws.
The greater long-nosed armadillo is a South American species of armadillo found in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. It is a solitary, nocturnal, terrestrial animal that feeds on arthropods and other invertebrates, usually living in the vicinity of streams and swamps.
The southern naked-tailed armadillo is a species of small armadillo from South America.
The seven-banded, long-nosed armadillo or just seven-banded armadillo, Dasypus septemcinctus, is a species of armadillo from South America found in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. It is a solitary nocturnal, terrestrial animal, living mostly in dry habitats, outside of rainforest regions.
The greater naked-tailed armadillo is an armadillo species from South America.
The southern long-nosed armadillo is a species of armadillo native to South America.
The southern three-banded armadillo, also called the La Plata three-banded armadillo, is an armadillo species from South America. It is found in parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, at elevations from sea level to 770 m (2,530 ft).
The Brazilian three-banded armadillo is an armadillo species endemic to Brazil, where it is known as tatu-bola. It is one of only two species of armadillo that can roll into a ball. It has suffered a 30% decline in population in the last 10 years.
The black-tailed prairie dog is a rodent of the family Sciuridae found in the Great Plains of North America from about the United States-Canada border to the United States-Mexico border. Unlike some other prairie dogs, these animals do not truly hibernate. The black-tailed prairie dog can be seen above ground in midwinter. A black-tailed prairie dog town in Texas was reported to cover 25,000 sq mi (64,000 km2) and included 400,000,000 individuals. Prior to habitat destruction, this species may have been the most abundant prairie dog in central North America. This species was one of two described by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the journals and diaries of their expedition.
The Andean hairy armadillo is an armadillo located in Bolivia, in the region of the Puna; the departments of Oruro, La Paz, and Cochabamba. Nowark (1991) describes it as distributed in Bolivia and northern Chile. A recent publication of Pacheco (1995) also locates the species in Peru, basically in Puno Region. This species is also thought to be present in northern Argentina. However, this location may actually only contain a population of C. vellerosus.
Dasypus bellus, the beautiful armadillo, is an extinct armadillo species endemic to North America and South America from the Pleistocene, living from 1.8 mya—11,000 years ago, existing for approximately.
The screaming hairy armadillo is a species of armadillo also known as the small screaming armadillo, crying armadillo or the small hairy armadillo. It is a burrowing armadillo found in the central and southern parts of South America. The adjective "screaming" derives from its habit of squealing when handled or threatened.
The big hairy armadillo or large hairy armadillo or “enormous hairy armadillo”(Chaetophractus villosus) is one of the largest and most numerous armadillos in South America. It lives from sea level to altitudes of up to 1,300 meters across the southern portion of South America, and can be found in grasslands, forests, and savannahs, and has even started claiming agricultural areas as its home. It is an accomplished digger and spends most of its time below ground. It makes both temporary and long-term burrows, depending on its food source. The armadillo can use specially evolved membranes in its nose to obtain oxygen from the surrounding soil particles without inhaling any of the soil itself. Armadillos are protected from predators by a series of thin, bony plates along the head and back. They reach sexual maturity at around 9 months and have been known to live over 30 years in captivity. Though this animal is routinely harvested for its meat and its shell, or simply killed for pestering farmers, it has shown amazing resiliency, and populations seem to be handling this exploitation well. Currently, no protective practices are in place for this armadillo, but it does live in many protected areas. This species of armadillo is a preferred research animal due to its adaptability to laboratory settings, and relative hardiness in situations of stress.
The hairy long-nosed armadillo, or woolly armadillo, is a species of armadillo in the family Dasypodidae. It is endemic to Peru. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. The International Union for Conservation of Nature used to consider it a "vulnerable species" but has changed this assessment to "data deficient" because so little is known about the animal and the threats it faces.
Dasypus is the only extant genus in the family Dasypodidae. Its species are known as long-nosed or naked-tailed armadillos. They are largely found in South, Central, and North America. Dasypus are solitary mammals that are primarily nocturnal to avoid temperature extremes and predation. They exist in numerous habitats ranging from brush to grassland areas and are mainly insectivorous.
The banner-tailed kangaroo rat is a species of rodent in the family Heteromyidae. It is found in arid environments in the southwestern United States and Mexico where it lives in a burrow by day and forages for seeds and plant matter by night.
The Llanos long-nosed armadillo is a species of armadillo in the family Dasypodidae. It is endemic to Colombia and Venezuela, where its habitat is the intermittently flooded grassland of the Llanos. The species is closely related to the nine-banded armadillo and the great long-nosed armadillo. It has very little hair and can weigh up to 22 pounds (9.5 kg), and can grow to about 2.1 feet (60 cm) long. It lives in dense cover near limestone formations. Like most other armadillos, it eats ants.
Glyptodon was a genus of large, heavily armored mammals of the subfamily Glyptodontinae – relatives of armadillos – that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. It was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, though flatter in shape. With its rounded, bony shell and squat limbs, it superficially resembled a turtle, and the much earlier dinosaurian ankylosaur – providing an example of the convergent evolution of unrelated lineages into similar forms. In 2016 an analysis of Doedicurus mtDNA found it was, in fact, nested within the modern armadillos as the sister group of a clade consisting of Chlamyphorinae and Tolypeutinae. For this reason, glyptodonts and all armadillos but Dasypus were relocated to a new family, Chlamyphoridae, and glyptodonts were demoted from the former family Glyptodontidae to a subfamily.
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