Skip over navigation to text  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers >> Science Reference Services  
Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress  
<< HOME           << See More Everyday Mysteries>>       << Ask a Question >>   
Find in

    How high can a nine-banded armadillo jump?


    Three to four feet into the air.

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 moving vehicles.

Amazing Armadillo Facts...

Armadillos can cross bodies of water in two ways. They can:
  1. inflate their stomachs and intestines with air and float across the water, or,
  2. sink down and use their sharp claws to walk across the bottom.

They can hold their breath for six minutes or more!

The 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.

Standard DisclaimerRelated Web Sites

Library of Congress Web SiteFurther Reading
  • Grzimek, Bernhard. Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia. New York, Van Nostrnad Reinhold Co., 1972. V. 11, p. 156.
  • Smith, Larry Lane. The amazing armadillo: geography of a folk critter. Austin, University of Texas Press, 1984. 134 p.

SearchFor more print resources...
Search on "armadillo" or "nine-banded armadillo" in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

Image of Armadillo
Armadillo. Photo by Runyon, Robert, 1881-1968. From Library of Congress, American Memory: The South Texas Border: The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection.

Top of page

Top of Page

<< HOME           << See More Everyday Mysteries>>       << Ask a Question >>
 The Library of Congress >> Researchers >> Science Reference Services
 September 27, 2018
Legal | External Link Disclaimer
Contact Us