Wednesday, March 9, 2016

More Than You Probably Wanted to Know

... about this little lady, our 9-banded armadillo.

Erma is back!

Border collie Bob went into her* frantic armadillo dance on the deck. I told her she was silly, Erma didn't live here anymore, and then immediately watched an armadillo rustle out from underneath, ignore me completely to gather a pile of leaves, and pull them back under to make her nest.

Sorry for doubting you, Bob!

 

*(Bob is a girl. The Writer always wanted a dog named Bob. She doesn't care.)

Contrary to my report last fall, Erma apparently wasn't the one killed on the road in front of our house.

Maybe it was her paramour, father of this year's quads. Or maybe it was Erma and this one took over her home beneath the deck. It's not easy to tell one armadillo from another.

Did you know ...

  • Armadillos are one of the few animals who consume fire ants as part of their diet. They also eat roaches. As far as I'm concerned, that makes them heroes! Anything that eats fireants is a friend of mine.
  • Armadillos have four babies at a time, always all the same sex. Their shells don't harden until after they are born and they stay with the mother for a year.
  • Armadillos sleep an average of 18.5 hours a day.
  • Armadillos can walk underwater and/or inflate their stomachs and intestines with air and float.
  • Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy. People can only get it from them if they eat them or handle them extensively and then it is still extremely rare.
  • When an armadillo is frightened it jumps straight into the air.
  • There are over 50 million armadillos in the US.
I'll leave you with an armadillo joke my grandson told me when he was five.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To show the armadillo how!

 

21 comments:

  1. It is beautiful animal but I am afraid of it. Is it dangerous - and is it reptile? But it is so sleepy creature

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    1. They are mammals! They are pretty defenseless, not dangerous at all, just ugly, poor things.

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  2. Anything that eats "fire ants" is a friend of mine.
    Colin

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    1. And COCKROACHES, too excited over the fire ants to notice the wretched filthy
      "roaches".
      That makes the rather ugly armadillos, a "double life long friend of mine".
      Colin

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  3. Love it Bob the Border Collie!! Perfect even for a she! How about a photo sometime?:)

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  4. Good news Erma is back, she may be ugly but she's as tough as anything if she gives birth to four all at the same time.... good job you told us they all had soft shells, otherwise that's a big ouch!!! Sorry you've had difficulty leaving a comment on my blog, think I need a big overhaul at LWW.... just need the time to do it, but as always I always appreciate all your comments :)
    Have a lovely week
    Wren x

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  5. Cynthia, I am so interested in your armadillo facts. Now, I want one under my deck, too. However, I seem to only get porcupines (that do not eat either fire ants or roaches).

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  6. Still don't like armadillos, not cute at all, prefer our alligator.

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  7. Your grandson was right. They don't fare well jumping up when a vehicle is over them. They also roll when they're being chased...learned that as Hubby tried years ago to catch one. When he would get close, it would curl up and roll down the hill faster than either could run.

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  8. They do seem kind of creepy to me, but if they eat roaches they are awesome!

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  9. I have never come across one before but they seem harmless enough.

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  10. Those are some armadillo facts I did not know. Wow to sleep for 18.5 hrs.

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  11. How sweet they know to find your place, to hussle around, maybe it is your Erma!

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  12. I always had this idea (mistaken obviously though) that armadillos only lived in Sth America, so I found your post so enlightening, Cynthia. How fabulous to have one under your deck. And thank you for all those interesting facts about armadillos.

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  13. How exciting! We have seen them in the yard, along with possums, but did not have them settle in. I had no idea they reproduced in quads of all the same sex. Really amazing creatures.

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  14. They sound like great guests - the sort of visitor we probably wouldn't mind. They don't have any nasty tricks like bite or smell?

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  15. Greetings! I have not seen a live armadillos before. Anything that eats roaches and fire ants is also a friend of mine. Thank you for the interesting facts and story. I am following you on GFC. Have a beautiful day!

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  16. Interesting creature and obviously good to have around, well they would be for me.

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  17. The armadillo looks smaller than I imagined.

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  18. I didn't realise they still thrive in your part of the world. Such a pre-historic looking creature. Other than cars and humans I don't expect they have many predators.

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