Features and habitat of armadillo
At home, in Latin America, armadillos are called Armadillo, which means pocket dinosaurs. This expression corresponds not only to the appearance of this animal, but also to the duration of its existence on Earth.
Armadillos appeared on Earth about 55 million years ago. Unlike many species, they survived and continue to multiply. To survive, over such a long time, they were helped by the very shell or armor, from which their name derived.
Armadillo animal attributed to the detachment of incomplete. Indeed, the teeth of this mammal are devoid of roots and enamel. They have no incisors and canines. To date, there are approximately 20 types of armadillos. Their habitat is South America, and only one species lives in the south of North America.
The Armadillo animal in the photo recognizes almost anyone. Although this “pocket dinosaur” is an exotic animal, but how it looks is known to almost everyone. There are instances so rare that even residents in Latin America do not immediately recognize them as armadillos. One of these animals is a Armadillo battleship.
There are several other names for this species — the pink fairy or the pink battleship. They live only in a few areas of Argentina. For their stay dry sandy meadows and plains with bushes and cacti are chosen.
The pink fairy is one of the smallest members of the armadillo family. The length of the body is 9-15 cm, and they weigh about 90 g. The peculiarity of the pink armadillo is its shell.
It is attached to the body with only one thin strip and two more near the eyes. Armor consists of 24 thick bony plates. The animal can easily fold into a ball.
The shell performs not only a protective function, but also the thermoregulation of the body. Armor is located only on the back, like a raincoat. The rest of the body (abdomen and sides of the body) is covered with thick fur. This silky cover warms the armadillo on cold nights.
There is in the presence of the armadillo with a fiery pink tail, which gives it a slightly comical appearance. The length of this tail is 2.5-3 cm. With its miniature size, the animal is not able to lift it, so the tail is constantly dragged along the ground.
The pink fairy’s muzzle ends in a sharp little nose. The eyes of the animal are small, since most of its life, this species spends underground and is chosen outside at night.
The front feet are stronger than the hind legs, as they are the ideal tool for digging holes. Each of the paws has 5 fingers, which are equipped with long, powerful claws. The skull of this animal is thin, so the head is the most vulnerable spot.
The nature and lifestyle of the armadillo
Where the armadillo lives animal, the territory is characterized by sandy soil. They build their homes not far from the anthills. Close to the food source.
Lifestyle lead solitary. They communicate with other representatives of this species only during the breeding season. All daylight hours are spent in burrows, and only at night they go out for hunting.
The slightest danger scares the pink armadillo. Trunk immediately buried in the sand. For this they need a few minutes, no wonder they are considered excellent diggers. With the help of long claws, they rake the sand.
From the side these movements resemble swimming. Sand swimmers are precise in their movements and protect their heads from dirt while digging holes. The rear legs are used only to move forward underground.
To save themselves from enemies, armadillos use cunning and armor. If a predator decides to get into a burrow to them, then the battleship blocks the entrance with the help of his bone plates.
It looks like a cork blocked the passage, and the predator has no chance to get his prey. If you want to have an exotic pet and decide to buy an armadillo animal, be aware that room conditions for its maintenance will not work.
All types of armadillos can be kept in captivity, but only 2 species are most suitable. Animals grown up in captivity, easier for wild relatives, get used to people, give them their affection, jokes and wonderful mood. So, on the role of pet armadillo is suitable nine-belt and three-belt ball.
Nine-belted battleship has a phlegmatic character. He is a little sociable comrade, for whom it is a pleasure to watch. The spherical battleship is the exact opposite of the nine armored.
He leads an active lifestyle, gets used and knows his master. Over time, it becomes completely tame. You can play with him. He responds to the nickname and runs after his master.
Both species show no signs of aggression to humans and easily adapt to the new environment. But one should not expect that the battleship will execute commands, since it does not possess special acumen.
The main menu of the armadillo consists of insects, worms, snails and small lizards. This animal is a predator. This predatory beast feeds on ants and larvae, so its house, most often, is located near the anthill.
In the diet of this mammal is present and plant food, though in smaller quantities than the animal. The vegetarian part of the menu consists of leaves and roots of plants.
Reproduction and life expectancy of an armadillo
Pregnancy of a female armadillo can last from a couple of weeks to 5-7 months. Such uncertainty is associated with the latent stage after fertilization. In one litter can be from 4 to 12 babies. After 3-4 hours of life, the young can already walk.
Like the parents, the body of small armadillos is equipped with armor. However, at the beginning of life, the plates do not yet possess such hardness. To the touch such a shell is soft and only until it reaches the mature age it hardens.
Armadillos become completely independent in 8 months. It is at this age that they leave the parental home. They will become sexually mature only in 2 years. The life span of this extraordinary animal in its natural environment is 10 years.