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Armadillos are nature’s tanks
if tanks were skittish and very cute.
Hi! I’m Danielle
and you’re watching Animal Logic.
Native to the Americas, armadillos are the only surviving members of the singulate order
and their closest extant relatives are sloths and anteaters.
There are 21 extant species of armadillo,
the vast majority of which can only be found in South America.
Two species can be found in Central America,
and just a single species, the Nine-banded armadillo, has made its way up into North America.
Armadillos range in size from the adorable pink fairy armadillo,
which only measures 15 centimetres in length
to the giant armadillo,
which as its name suggests is quite large
and can measure up to a metre and a half in length, including its tail.
They are part of the xenarthra super order and
like their anteater cousins.
Their diet is made up primarily of invertebrates.
With some species specializing in ants and termites,
species like the Nine-banded armadillo
will even eat carrion if they have to.
In order to extract said ants and termites
from their various mounts and hills,
they have long powerful claws.
In addition to this, they have long sticky tongues.
which they use to pick up
ants, termites and other small invertebrates.
The various species of armadillo
are most commonly described by the number of bands
that they have in their armour.
These bands are attached to one another with flexible tissue
and the more bands an armadillo has,
the more flexible they are.
Though it does come at a cost, security.
The South American Three-banded armadillo
is the only species of armadillo able to roll up
into a ball to protect their soft underbellies.
every other species prefers to run and hide,
rather than relying on their armor as their first line of defense.
As their last line of defense,
armadillos will use their long sharp claws.
Their iconic armors made of dermal bone plates,
which are covered with little scale like bones called scutes.
Armadillos are susceptible to leprosy
due to their low body temperature,
which incidentally is the same as human skin.
34 degrees Celsius.
Because of this, armadillos are vectors for the disease.
In fact, leprosy didn’t exist in the Americas
before the Europeans got here,
meaning that armadillos got leprosy from humans
and now they’re giving it back to us.
In the southern states, at county fairs,
it’s not uncommon to see an armadillo race.
They’re not great.
The handling of armadillos at these less than okay races and
another human armadillo interactions
has seen a rise in leprosy being transmitted to humans.
We set at the time,
the armadillo’s getting shape for the race
at secret training hangs.
We were permitted to see just a few of the vigorous exercises
and top secret training technics.
Many species of armadillo are quite decent in the water.
They can either hold their breath and walk along the bottom
or some species like the Nine-banded armadillo
will swallow a bunch of air and become buoyant.
This fills their stomach and intestines
and it makes swimming much easier for them.
Nine-banded armadillo also have a quirky habit of
jumping in the air when startled.
They can jump up to a meter high,
which is unfortunately why they get hit by cars so often.
were the only successful armadillo in the United States,
primarily due to their high reproductive rate.
They regularly give birth to kadru plants.
The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest
and objectively cutest armadillo.
They’re about the same size as a squirrel and
have highly flexible leather armor with 24 bands.
They’re primarily nocturnal and dig burrows.
This behavior has led them to
be classified as a subterranean armadillo.
Giant armadillos are the largest and
can be found all over South America, except in Uruguay.
Despite their large size, they prefer small prey,
their favorite being ants and termites,
of which they can eat an entire colony in a single setting.
They dig very large burrows,
which after they vacate,
tend to be used by other animals.
giant armadillo populations are decreasing
due to habitat destruction and hunting.
The loss of the giant armadillo from their ecosystem
will have a cascading effect
as other animals will lose their habitat engineers.
The screaming hairy armadillo
is quite possibly the greatest named animal.
Its entire body including its armor is covered
with scraggly little hairs,
making them look like coconuts on legs.
在阿根廷 玻利维亚 巴拉圭都能发现它们
They can be found in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
They are excellent diggers and tend to live in
habitats with loose diggable soil.
Oh, and they scream when they’re frightened.
They’re pretty great.
The screaming hairy armadillo is pretty adorable.
But I could be made even cuter
if brought to life through illustration.
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You’ll walk away from the course
with an adorable new drawing,
perhaps of an armadillo
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So what animal should I talk about next?
Please let me know in the comments and
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Thanks for watching!
Oh! And also I just want to say hey
and thanks to everyone
who came up to say hi to me at Magfest.
You guys are rad, take care.