armadillo

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armadillo

(är'mədĭl`ō), New World armored mammal of the order Edentata, a group that also includes the slothsloth
, arboreal mammal found in Central and South America distantly related to armadillos and anteaters. Sloths live in tropical forests, where they sleep, eat, and travel through the trees suspended upside down, clinging to branches with the powerful curved claws of their
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 and the anteateranteater,
name applied to various animals that feed on ants, termites, and other insects, but more properly restricted to a completely toothless group of the order Edentata. There are four species classified in three genera, all found in tropical Central and South America.
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, characterized by peglike teeth without roots or enamel. Armadillos are found from Argentina to Panama, with one species reaching the southern United States. The head and body of an armadillo are almost completely covered by an armor of plates made of bone and horny material; the plates are separated by soft skin which bears a few hairs. The body armor, or carapace, hangs down on either side of the animal's body and is divided into flexible bands across the back. Members of some armadillo species can roll into a ball for protection. Armadillos are omnivorous, although insects form the bulk of their diet. Most are nocturnal, resting during the day in burrows that they excavate with their strong front feet and enormous claws; they can dig into the ground with amazing speed when threatened. There are 21 armadillo species, classified in 9 genera. The largest is the giant armadillo, Priodontes giganteus, which reaches 4 ft (120 cm) in length and may weigh 100 lb (45 kg). Members of this species have almost 100 teeth, more than any other mammal. Despite their great bulk, they are able to stand on their hind feet and sometimes walk in this position. This species inhabits the Amazonian forest; most other armadillos are grasslands dwellers. The smallest armadillos are the fairy armadillos, or pichiagos; the smaller of the two pichiago species (Chlamyphorus truncatus) is about 6 in. (15 cm) long and bright pink in color, with plumes of white hair about the face and undersides and between the front and back portions of the shield. The nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is the only species found in the United States; it ranges from Argentina to Texas and Louisiana. It is about 30 in. (76 cm) long and 6 in. (15 cm) high at the shoulder; it weighs about 15 lb (6.4 kg). It normally moves about slowly, but is very swift when threatened. Each animal has several burrows. Females of this species almost always give birth to identical quadruplets. Armadillos are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Edentata, family Dasypodidae.

armadillo

[‚är·mə′dil·ō]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of 21 species of edentate mammals in the family Dasypodidae.

armadillo

1. any edentate mammal of the family Dasypodidae of Central and South America and S North America, such as Priodontes giganteus (giant armadillo). They are burrowing animals, with peglike rootless teeth and a covering of strong horny plates over most of the body
2. fairy armadillo another name for pichiciego
References in periodicals archive ?
3 printed on it and told students this was the call number or address for non-fiction books about armadillos.
It had not been determined yet whether they were male or female armadillos, as it was too early to tell for certain.
2004) found that this relative abundance index for giant armadillos is consistent with density estimations from capture-recapture methods.
Is leprosy spreading among nine-banded armadillos in the southearn united states?
00 cm) which shows statistically significant difference with the burrows of other armadillos (e.
While the unrelated armadillos are protected by toughened hide, the upperparts of hedgehogs are covered by an extensive and formidable coat of spines up to 1.
ey say the bumps, made of recycled plastic, are also cost eective as rainwater ows past the armadillos to the gutter, avoiding costly changes to road drainage.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Brazil will begin a program meant to save the endangered three-banded armadillo, the mascot for this year's World Cup, the Environment Ministry said Tuesday.
br ), the NGO responsible for launching the use of the armadillo as the Official Mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The frequency of armadillo nest predation is difficult to determine because armadillos sometimes visit nests previously depredated by other species, resulting in blame for nest predation in instances where they were not the primary predator (Drennen et al.
Armadillos like shady, brushy areas next to rivers.