Francois Langur Makes Eyes
Taronga Zoo Hand-Rears a Wombat

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.



Minnesota Zoo Welcomes First Armadillo Infant

Not yet on exhibit; public debut expected this summer

Apple Valley, MN – March 3, 2009: The Minnesota Zoo is excited to announce the birth of its first 3-banded armadillo infant – reportedly the third born in a United States zoo this year.

Born February 19 and thought to be a male, the infant has been staying close to his mother in an offexhibit holding area. Zookeepers were recently able to get a weight on the infant, who is
approximately 130 grams. 

If all goes well, he is expected to make his public debut this summer. The Minnesota Zoo began exhibiting armadillos in 2005 as part of its “Creatures Beneath the Canopy” exhibit, located along the Tropics Trail. The Zoo’s “Zoomobile” program also has armadillos.

Armadillo Fun Facts:

· Armadillos are solitary mammals found in the dry forests/savannas of Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay,

and Argentina.

· After a gestation period of just 104-124 days, three-banded armadillos produce just one offspring that is pink in color and a miniature version of the adult – about the size of a golf ball!

· Infants can walk and close their shells within hours of birth; eyes open at 3-4 weeks

· Adult armadillos are approximately 12 inches long, brown in color, and weigh about 3 pounds

· Only the three-banded armadillo can completely enclose itself by rolling into a ball.

· The three-banded armadillo runs with a peculiar gait and has a very effective defense mechanism: it is able to snap its shell together like a steel trap.

· Armadillos eat ants and termites that they get by probing in the ground, under bark, and into

nests. They can detect the scent of a worm to a depth of 20 cm underground.