Of the twenty species of armadillo that exist throughout the Americas,
the nine-banded armadillo (dasypus novemcinctus) is the only
one found in the United States. When startled, the nine-banded armadillo
can jump straight upward about three to four feet into the air.
This reflex may help scare off predators in the wild. Unfortunately,
many armadillos are killed when they jump into the underside of
Amazing Armadillo Facts...
can cross bodies of water in two ways. They can:
- inflate their stomachs and intestines with air and float across
the water, or,
- sink down and use their sharp claws to walk across the bottom.
They can hold their breath for six minutes or more!
nine-banded armadillo always gives birth to same gender quadruplets
from a single egg.
The Latin name for
the nine-banded armadillo is Dasypus novemcinctus. The word
Dasypus is derived from the Latin word for rabbit. Novem
means nine and cinctus means band. Literally, it translates
to "nine-banded rabbit." It is said that armadillos without
their shells resemble rabbits.
Bernhard. Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia. New
York, Van Nostrnad Reinhold Co., 1972. V. 11, p. 156.
Larry Lane. The amazing armadillo: geography of a folk
critter. Austin, University of Texas Press, 1984. 134
more print resources...
Search on "armadillo"
or "nine-banded armadillo"
in the Library of Congress Online
Photo by Runyon, Robert, 1881-1968. From Library of Congress, American
South Texas Border: The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection.