Armadillos are very ancient inhabitants of our planet, as ancient as dinosaurs. But unlike dinosaurs, most of these animals live in their homeland in South America to this day. Today, in the release of the almanac for the curious “I want to know everything”, I will tell you about amazing animals dressed in knightly armor – about armadillos. Today the family of armadillos has 20 species – small is small.
The smallest member of the family is a wrought iron armadillo. It hardly reaches 15 cm in length and weighs no more than 90 g. But its giant fellow justifies its name – it has a body size of about 1.5 m and a weight exceeding 50 kg. Appearance of armadillos can differ from each other, but there are some features that are typical for all specimens.
This is a squat figure, triangular, often elongated, a muzzle with small eyes, strong short paws with powerful curved claws and, of course, the presence of a shell that consists of separate parts and has a rather complex device. Its parts are connected together by soft tissues, due to which it acquires mobility, and the armor is densely covered with its surface horny plates.
Such armor protects the back of the armadillos, their limbs and tail. Unsecured parts of the body – the abdomen and internal parts of the paws – are covered with hard hairs. The color of the shell is different: pink, brown, gray and white.
Armadillos are incomplete, but they have more than enough teeth. Moreover, teeth are their true phenomenon. Not only that they all have the same structure and shape, without dividing into fangs, incisors like many animals., Small and completely without enamel, so they still grow throughout life, and most importantly, their number can vary from 10 to 100 .
The period of pregnancy in armadillos is long and unstable – from several weeks to months. In the litter there are from 1 to 12 heirs.
In dangerous situations, the female can artificially delay the birth of the year by two. Scientists believe that this is their reaction to stress. Expecting more favorable conditions, the armadillo, thus, gives his offspring a greater chance of survival.