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Let's Learn About the Armadillo

Do you even know what an armadillo is? It is one of the strangest mammals found in North America.

This strange animal is about the size of a regular house cat and is covered with hard plates of armor for protection. When the armadillo feels threatened it runs off into its burrow or runs into bushes too thick for other animals to follow. The tough armor protects it from scratches and punctures by thorns and sticks.

But, if the armadillo can't escape by running, it does a very neat thing. It curls itself into a ball. The armor creates an almost impenetrable shell and most animals will give up. The armadillo can also kick very hard with its back legs.

The greatest enemy of the armadillo is actually not an animal. Automobiles kill hundreds every year. But, there are a lot of armadillos and they arenít currently in danger of becoming extinct.

The armadillo got its name from the early Spanish explorers that came to North America. Armadillo means little armed one. If you look at a picture of old Spanish armor, it does kind of remind you of what an armadillo looks like.

The armadillo lives in a burrow. The armadillo digs a burrow that is about ten to fifteen feet long. An armadillo digs so well and so quickly that they can disappear into in just a minute or two.

Armadillos are omnivorous. That means that they eat all kinds of things. Armadillos eat insects, fruit, berries, birds' eggs, and sometimes carcasses of dead animals. They have sticky tongues like anteaters.

One of the strangest things about armadillos is that when they have their babies, they are either all male or all female.

Websites you may find helpful:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/nature/wild/mammals/dillo.htm
http://www.msu.edu/~nixonjos/armadillo/
http://pelotes.jea.com/AnimalFact/Mammal/armad.htm


Coloring Page:

http://pelotes.jea.com/ColoringPage/Mammal/Colarma.htm
http://www.first-school.ws/t/cparmadillo.htm
http://cybersleuth-kids.com/coloring/

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