Armadillo

Screaming Hairy Armadillo Pups Are a First For National Zoo

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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed two Screaming Hairy Armadillo pups on August 11. The pups are the first ever born at the zoo.

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The two little ones spend all of their time in the nest, and their eyes have not yet opened. However, the bony, armor-like plates that cover their bodies are already visible, and are covered with very fine hairs. At their last weigh-in, the pups weighed between five and six ounces each. It is still too early to determine if they are male or female.

The pups’ parents, Amber and Dylan Walter, were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Screaming Hairy Armadillo Species Survival Plan. These are the first pups for both parents. Visitors will be able to see the pups at the zoo after they have grown larger and have acclimated to their enclosure.

Screaming Hairy Armadillos are native to South America and are listed as a species of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They get their name from the squealing noise they emit if they are threatened and the greater amount of hair they have compared to other Armadillo species. At less than two pounds fully grown, Screaming Hairy Armadillos are the smallest of the three species of Hairy Armadillos.

 


Downtown Aquarium-Denver Welcomes Baby Alejandro

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The Downtown Aquarium at Denver welcomed a new Three Banded Armadillo on July 15.

The new guy, who has been named Alejandro, was born to first-time parents Lady Gaga and Howard Caruso. At his first weigh-in, Alejandro was 62g (2.2 oz.) and 1.5 inches long.

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4_20229122_10155541341000148_6662293227210638679_nPhoto Credits: Downtown Aquarium-Denver

The Three Banded Armadillo can roll completely into a ball to protect itself from predators and thorny vegetation. The yellow-brown sides of the carapace extend beyond the skin, giving the armadillo a space to retreat its head, legs, and tail when curling up. The armor plating that covers the body is divided into two domed shells, with three armored bands in between, joined by flexible bands of skin.

Three Banded Armadillos reach a length of about 9 to 13 inches and weigh a max of about 3 to 3.5lbs.

They are found throughout the central region of South America: Southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Northern Argentina. They prefer mountain, tropical and temperate grasslands, as well as rainforest, tropical dry forest and swamps.

In the wild, they eat primarily insects, which includes: beetle larvae, ants, and termites. They are also known to consume plants, and other small animals.

In zoos, they are primarily fed cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, wax worms, crickets, and mealworms.

The gestation period is about 120 days. The female will typically give birth to a single young (pup). Pups are about the size of a golf ball at birth. The young will nurse for 10 weeks.

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Baby Armadillo Drinks Milk From Tiny Dish

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When a Southern Three-banded Armadillo pup was born at Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw one morning in May, zoo keepers kept a close eye on how the mother, Hermiona, interacted with her newborn.  By that afternoon, the staff realized that Hermiona was showing no interest in her pup and did not nurse him, so they decided to hand-rear the infant.

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DSC02260Photo Credit: Zoo Wroclaw

The little male pup is named Spock. Getting Spock to eat was a challenge at first – he would not drink from a bottle. Keepers tried using an eye dropper at feeding time, but Spock didn’t like that, either. One day, Spock started licking milk from a tiny bowl. With practice, he is now a pro at slurping up his supper.

The zoo reports that Spock is developing well and tripled his weight by the time he was 6 weeks old. 

Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native to the southern interior of South America. They collect ants and termites on their long, sticky tongue. The shell, which is made of keratin, is the same material that human fingernails are made of.  Southern Three-banded Armadillos are one of only two types of Armadillo that can roll completely into a ball for protection.

Once Spock is mature, he will likely be moved to another zoo, where he will be an important part of the breeding program to support this species, which is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Destruction of the dry chaco habitat and its conversion to farmland are the major threats to the species.

See more photos of Spock below.

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Curl Up With Pallina the Armadillo

18403793_10155113573430479_1479412469551318350_oWhen a Southern Three-banded Armadillo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo this spring, keepers selected a fitting name for the golf-ball-sized female: Pallina, which happens to be the name of the small white ball in a bocce set. 

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34211244662_824faca4a5_oPhoto Credits: DJJam Photo (1), Cassandre Crawford (2,3)

Within a month of her birth on February 28, Pallina more than quadrupled her weight – the equivalent of a seven-pound newborn human weighing 32 pounds at one month of age!

Pallina is the first offspring for parents Lil and Titan and the first Armadillo born at the zoo since 2011. 

Armadillos are known for their ability to curl into a ball, using their hard outer shell to protect their face and soft underside.  The outer “armor” is made of keratin, the same material that makes up your fingernails. Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native to South America, where they inhabit parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil and feed on a variety of insects. 

Southern Three-banded Armadillos are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Primary threats include habitat destruction as native grasslands are converted to farms. Hunting and capture for the pet trade also contribute to the Armadillos' decline.

 


Second Armadillo Birth for Edinburgh Zoo

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Keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to announce the birth of a Southern Three-banded Armadillo. The tiny, female, armour-plated arrival was born in the middle of April and has been named Inti by her keepers. (Pronounced ‘In-tee’, the name comes from the ancient Inca sun god, of the same name.)

Inti is only the second birth of any Armadillo species at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. In 2014 another female called Rica was also born to parents Rio and Rodar.

At two-days-old, Inti was about the size of a golf ball and weighed only 100g, but by two-weeks-old she was just a little smaller than a tennis ball. She is currently a little over three-weeks-old and is reaching the size of a baseball!

Once Inti gets a little older, she will take part in the Zoo’s daily educational show called Animal Antics, where she will help raise awareness of vital work taking place by the conservation charity Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, who own and manage Edinburgh Zoo, to help the Giant Armadillo in the Brazilian Pantanal.*

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4_16_4_14_Southern_three_banded_armadillo_baby_JP_1Photo Credit:RZSS/Jon-Paul Orsi

Sarah Wright, Animal Presentations Team Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Our new arrival is doing well, and we are all celebrating her birth, as she is only the second Armadillo to be born at the Zoo. Inti was about the size of a golf ball when she was born, but is growing quickly and is a little bundle of energy. She will grow up to play a very important role in raising awareness about the plight of Armadillos in the wild and the threats they face, as well as the vital conservation work undertaken by RZSS to help conserve the Giant Armadillo from extinction.”

Southern Three-banded Armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus) are listed as “Near threatened” on the IUCN Red List and are increasingly threatened as a result of being hunted for food, the pet trade and loss of habitat. Three-banded Armadillos are the only type of Armadillo that can roll into a ball when threatened. They get their name from the three characteristic bands on their back, which allows them the flexibility to roll into a ball. The Three-banded Armadillo is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The family of Three-banded Armadillos, at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, is not on show, but can often be seen in the daily Animals Antics shows at 12:15pm and 3pm, at the top of the hill in the Zoo.

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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.

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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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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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