Armadillo

Rare Armadillo Born at Longleat

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A rare Southern Three-Banded Armadillo has been born at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, in the UK. Born at the end of April, Charlie, as he has been nicknamed by keepers, is only the second armadillo to be successfully reared at the Wiltshire park.

2_Baby three banded armadillo with mum at Longleat PIC Ian Turner (1200x958)

3_Baby three banded  armadillo and its mum at Longleat PIC Ian TurnerPhoto Credits: Ian Turner

Keeper Emily Randall said, “Charlie is doing really well and putting on lots of weight. When he was born he was about the size of a golf ball, and although his armour was very soft, his claws weren’t!”

Emily continued, “The Three-Banded is one of only two species of armadillo that can roll into a defensive ball, in fact it is known as the ‘ball armadillo’ in Brazil. The ears can be fully tucked into the shell, and the head and tail interlock to make an incredibly strong seal. In captivity they can be expected to live for up to 20 years.”

“Charlie’s mum, Hattie and dad, Knobbly, who is 14, have been living here at Longleat since 2012. We’re really proud of Hattie and Knobbly and the rest of the armadillo family we have had here at Longleat. Charlie will now be the third generation of the same family who has been born in the park.”

The armadillo’s diet mainly consists of ants and termites. When it detects prey, it digs a hole and puts its nose into it, using its long, sticky tongue to lap up any insects.

The defense system of the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is so effective it’s safe from the majority of predators. Adult pumas and jaguars are the only South American mammals powerful enough to be a natural threat. However, the main danger to the species is the destruction of its natural habitat to graze livestock.

The species has suffered a 30% decline in population, in the last 10 years, in its native South America. It has been classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.


Topeka Zoo “Gets ‘Round” to Announcing Armadillo Birth

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The Topeka Zoo is excited about the arrival of their newest Southern Three-Banded Armadillo. The spherically prone boy was born May 5th and is the third offspring of mom, ‘Erin’, and dad, ‘Mulligan’.

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4_IMG_4243Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, also called the La Plata Three-Banded Armadillo, is an armadillo species from South America. It is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The species, along with the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, is the only armadillo capable of rolling into a complete ball for defense and protection. The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing it to protect its underbelly, limbs, eyes, nose and ears from predators. The shell covering its body is armored and the outer layer is made out of keratin, the same protein that builds human fingernails.

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is typically yellow or brownish in color. They are among the smaller armadillos, with a total body length of about 8.7 to 10.6 inches (22 to 27 cm) and a weight of between 2.2 and 3.5 lbs (1 and 1.6 kg).

Gestation for an armadillo lasts 60 to 120 days, depending on the species. Some species, such as the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, will have litter sizes that range from one to eight. The young are born with soft, leathery skin, which hardens within a few weeks. They reach sexual maturity in three to 12 months, depending on species.

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Twin Armadillos Are Ready for Action

IMG_9472The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium welcomed twin Six-banded Armadillos on November 17. 

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Dillas2Photo Credit:  National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The mother, Dilla, gave birth to one male and one female offspring, which weighed 110 grams each.  Baby Armadillos grow fast – by the time they were five weeks old, each baby weighed about 500 grams! Their father, Marty, is in a separate holding area, giving Dilla room to nurse and care for the babies. The babies will be weaned from their mother at 90 days old, and they will eventually move to another facility accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

Armadillos are known for the armor-like plates that cover their bodies and heads.  These bony plates protect Armadillos from predators – only their soft, furry bellies are vulnerable to attack.

Six-banded Armadillos are native to the southern half of South America, where they roam grasslands and open plains in search of fruits and leaves. 

The 2014 AZA Studbook for Six-Banded Armadillos, kept at the Dallas Zoo, states that there are only 23 individuals at 15 institutions (of which 14 are AZA institutions). The Museum & Aquarium holds two of those 23 individual adults as well as the two newborns.

Though they are not considered endangered, Six-banded Armadillos are extensively hunted for meat and medicinal use.

 


UPDATE: Rica the Baby Armadillo is Still a Beauty

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Last week, we brought you the story of Rica, the baby Southern Three-Banded Armadillo born at Edinburgh Zoo. Rica was only the size of a golf ball when she was born August 24, but she is progressing and developing, as she should, and now weighs in at 16 ounces (450g)! 

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14_09_24_SouthernThreeBandedArmadillo_Adult_Rio_kp_1Photo Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

One-month-old Rica posed for new pics a few days ago, and she is beginning to show even more of a resemblance to her healthy mother, Rio. Rica’s parents, Rio and Rodar, arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in March 2014.

Southern Three-Banded Armadillos are native to South America. They are found in parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. This armadillo and the other member of the genus ‘Tolypeutes’, the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, are the only species of armadillos capable of rolling into a complete ball to defend themselves.  The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing protection from predators.  They are currently classified as ‘Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List .


“¡Qué Rica!”, Edinburgh Zoo Introduces Baby Armadillo

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Edinburgh Zoo is proud to introduce, Rica, a baby Southern Three-Banded Armadillo!  She was born to mother, Rio, and father, Rodar, on August 24th.  

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14_9_4_Armadillo_Baby_6_JPPhoto Credits: Edinburgh Zoo

Although, Rica was a mere 81 grams (less than 3 oz) at birth, and was around the size of a golf ball, she has already quadrupled in weight during the first month of life.

Both parents arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in March 2014.  Given the short length of time the two have been at the Zoo, it is an amazing achievement and testament to the specialist skills of their keepers, that both Rio and Rodar felt comfortable enough to make a family in their new home.

Southern Three-Banded Armadillos are native to South America. They are found in parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. This armadillo and the other member of the genus ‘Tolypeutes’, the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, are the only species of armadillos capable of rolling into a complete ball to defend themselves.  The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing protection from predators.  They are currently classified as ‘Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

See more great pics below the fold!

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Screaming Animal Ambassador Born at Virginia Zoo

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The Virginia Zoo has a new addition, a baby Screaming Hairy Armadillo! The little guy was born on August 18 to parents ‘Savanna’ and ‘Chaco’. 

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ScreamingHairyArmadillo_1Photo Credits: Virginia Zoo

The armadillo parents, Savanna and Chaco, serve a dual purpose at the Virginia Zoo. They're a breeding pair, but they're also part of the Program Animal collection. They are used for education and special animal encounters. It will be a while before the new baby makes his public debut, but he will mostly likely join his parents as an Animal Ambassador once he's all grown up.

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo is native to central, southern South America, specifically the Chaco region of Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay. They are omnivores and thrive in tropical and subtropical dry forests, grasslands, savannas, scrublands, pastures, sandy soils, and deserts, where they can burrow. The Screaming Hairy Armadillo is distinguished from other species of armadillos by its long, wiry hairs sticking out through its hard shell and over its body, making it more hairy than most armadillos. One of the smallest of their genus, Chaetophractus, the adjective “screaming” comes from their squeal-like response to being threatened or bothered.

Although, they are classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, this armadillo is heavily hunted for its meat in parts of the Chaco region in Bolivia. It is at times considered an agricultural pest and killed by hunting dogs. The disjunctive population, of coastal Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, is adversely affected by mining activities. The carapace is particularly sought for making ‘charangos’, a South American musical instrument akin to a lute.  


Baby Armadillo the Size of a Tennis Ball

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Look what just rolled into Busch Gardens Tampa - a tiny Three Banded Armadillo born to proud armadillo parents Zowie and Ollie. Born June 21, the baby was the size of a golf ball, now a month later he has grown to be the size of a tennis ball. When full grown adult Three Banded Armadillo’s are roughly the size of a softball. The youngster can be seen in Jambo Junction. 

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Below: Baby and mom, Zowie, enjoy some outdoor romping in the grass. 

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Some fun armadillo facts courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa.

  • The gestation period for a Three Banded Armadillo is just 120 days!
  • The young will nurse for about 72 days before being weaned.
  • Baby armadillos are born blind but quickly develop the ability to walk and close their shell.
  • After 72 days baby armadillos are no longer dependent on mom and will go out on their own.

Screaming Hairy Armadillo Babies!

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The Cincinnati Zoo recently welcomed three Screaming Hairy Armadillo babies, which will eventually join the Zoo's outreach program to teach school children about animals and conservation. As their name implies, the Screaming Hairy Armadillo squeals when threatened, perhaps by a hungry jaguar. Native to Arengtina, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay this species ranges from deserts to grasslands and escapes the heat of the summer day deep within a burrow. 

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Photo and video credits: Cincinnati Zoo


Naked Into the World: Armadillo or Pink Golf Ball?

A few months back we brought you Amani the newborn aardvark and today we have another brand spanking new addition to the Midwest zoo family - a 3-banded armadillo. No bigger than a golf ball, this pink little bundle of balled up joy weighs just 4.5 ounces (130 grams). The little guy will be off exhibit until this summer but we promise to bring you any future photos the Minnesota Zoo can share.


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