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.
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.