Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Superorder: Xenarthra

Order: Cingulata

Specimen Description

Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one” and refers to the bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail of most of these odd looking creatures. Armadillos are the only living mammals that wear such shells. An armadillo’s armor is made up of overlapping plates. The number of armored bands identifies the different species. Some species of Armadillos (Three-banded armadillo), can roll itself into a hard armored ball to defend itself against predators. Other armadillo species simply dig a hole quickly and hunker down so that their tender stomach is protected and their armor is the only thing visible.

About the Animal

Armadillos are not social creatures and spend most of their time sleeping. They usually sleep up to 16 hours each day in burrows, according to National Geographic. During the morning and evenings, they forage for food. Armadillos prefer warm, moist climates, and thrive in forested areas and grasslands. Because they must dig for their food and shelter, they generally gravitate towards areas with loose, porous soil. These animals use their strong claws to dig several burrows throughout their home range in which to live and seek refuge from extreme weather or predators. An armadillo burrow is about 7-8″ wide and up to 15 feet deep.


Alina Bradford, Armadillo Facts,