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Armadillos


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Armadillo are timid, armored mammals that live in warm grasslands and forests from South America up to the southern United States. Armadillos are burrowers who dig underground dens. Armadillos can jump 3 ft (1 m) straight up into the air. Many armadillos are killed when they are run over by cars.

Anatomy: Armadillos are protected by plates of bony armor covered with skin. Many armadillos can curl into a ball when threatened by predators. There are 20 different types of armadillos that range in size from 6 to 60 inches (15-152 cm) long.

Diet: Armadillo are primarily insectivores (insect-eaters). They dig into the earth using their large claws to find food. They use their long tongue to get ants, beetles, termites, worms, grubs, other small animals and eggs. Armadillos have peg-like teeth.

Reproduction: Most armadillos give birth to one or two offspring, but the Nine-Banded Armadillo always has identical quadruplets (4 babies that come from one egg).

Classification: Class Mammalia (mammals), Order Edentata (anteaters, sloths, and armadillos), Family Dasypodidae (armadillos), Genus Dasypus.

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