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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Giant Armadillo Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read on to know all about the Giant Armadillo facts around

Have you always been interested in unique, different creatures? Then the giant armadillos are an excellent being to look at! The giant armadillos are the largest living animals in the armadillo species. This animal has many names, such as Tatu canastra (in Portuguese), and Priodontes maximus (scientific name). This species has a large armored body. Currently, their most considerable population will be found in South America.

The giant armadillo species' habitat is found mainly in rivers or savanna, and they mostly dig their burrow near the water. These animals are currently endangered, and without human intervention in their population and conservation, they may be near extinction. Most of these species' body is dark brown, and some are salmon-colored, while others are somewhat pink. These endangered animals have no specific mating season but whenever they breed, they have a gestation time that is around four months in which their mating finishes and they give birth to new pups. If you are interested in these large creatures, keep on reading!

Do you enjoy reading about Giant Armadillo facts for kids? Then do make sure you also have a look at  pink fairy armadillo and anteater facts once you're done with this article!

Giant Armadillo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant armadillo?

The giant armadillos are from the family of armadillos.

What class of animal does a giant armadillo belong to?

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) belongs to mammal species.

How many giant armadillos are there in the world?

There is no estimate of the population of giant armadillos, but scientists believe that the population of these mammals has decreased about 30% in the last 25 years.

Where does a giant armadillo live?

The giant armadillos are found living in the savannas or forests usually close to a body of water.

What is a giant armadillo's habitat?

The largest armadillo species has its densest living habitat in South America. They usually live near water, and they feed on termite mounds, ants, and such. They prefer areas with shrubs, bushes, and other sparse vegetation.

Who does the giant armadillo live with?

Giant armadillos live primarily on their own, in pairs or small groups, because armadillos are not communal species. They like to live alone, and the only time they come together is when they have to mate in the winter months.

How long does a giant armadillo live?

Though they have never been bred in captivity, there have been a lot of difficulties determining their age. However, there have been records of 16-year-old armadillos.

How do they reproduce?

Giant armadillos reproduce when the female giant lifts her long tail, and the male climbs up from behind. When the female giant gives birth to the young ones, they dig burrows for their young armadillos to keep their young armadillos safe and nurse them for two to three months. It is not known in which month the mating season is; however the giant armadillos' gestation time is around four months after which they then give birth to the young ones.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List marks these species as Vulnerable. This means that even though they are not yet endangered, they may soon be, and an extinct giant armadillo may become our reality.

Giant Armadillo Fun Facts

What do giant armadillos look like?

The giant armadillo has 11-13 bands on its body, and several on its neck too. The giant armadillo teeth are about 100 in number, which exceeds that of any other terrestrial mammal. In addition to this, they are dark brown in color with yellow stripes running through them. They have sharp claws, chunky paws, and small, black, beady eyes.

The giant armadillos are a vulnerable species and may become extinct very soon.

How cute are they?

Giant armadillos are adorable animals because of their eyes that are small and black. Their front claws are sharp, which might attract more viewers to see this cute animal.

How do they communicate?

These animals can communicate mainly through their smell and sound. These animals release secretion from their gland located on different parts of their body. It helps them to mark their burrows, and in offsprings call, they call for mating.

How big is a giant armadillo?

This animal is 29.5-39.3 in long, which is almost one-fourth the length of the average human. No wonder they are one of the largest animals around.

How fast can a giant armadillo run?

These species can run up to 30 mph. However, this is not the only way they move. Instead of running, this species can curl up into its famous ball and roll away from its predators, though it rarely chooses to utilize this method.

How much does a giant armadillo weigh?

They weigh around 41.8-72.7 lb which is almost one-third of a human.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is monotypic for these species, and it's also called Tatou ocarro/Tatu canastra in Portugal, but mostly, it's called Tatu canastra. Therefore, even though they have scientific names, this species does not have any specific name for the male and female.

What would you call a baby giant armadillo?

When the female giant armadillo gives birth to their young, they are called pups. While the adults may not be much to look at, these pups look adorable and will definitely grab your attention.

What do they eat?

These species mostly go to termite mounds and rip the mounds using their front sharp claws to eat the termites, and mostly their diet consists solely of the termites. Other things to eat in their habitat are ants, spiders, and worms. They also do eat a lot, going through entire termite hills for just one meal.

Are they aggressive?

When this large animal is put under a serious threat, it can attack aggressively with its sharp front claws, leading to injury and diseases like rabies in humans. Although humans do not really take up the fight with this species, it is mostly dogs, cats, and rabbits that are engaged with them.

Would they make a good pet?

Armadillos are not meant to be domestic animals because their habitat is around the savanna or forest also. They also need space to roam and dig their burrow, especially in the nighttime. All in all, they would be better of in the forest or zoo.

Did you know...

Armadillos usually spend 16-18 hours in their burrows, sleeping. This means that the largest living species of the armadillo family spend most of their life, asleep, seldom stepping out of their burrows to hunt and forage for food.

History of the giant armadillo

The prehistoric giant armadillo (Extinct) was named Doedicurus, and was found in South America. The size of this creature was about 13 ft long. It's more than double the size of the average human, and its weight was approximately a tonne, which is the same weight as about 12 SUVs. So, while they may not be bulletproof, they definitely are interesting animals!

They disappeared soon after, and the fossils which were discovered date back to approximately 10,000 years old, in line with other large ice age animals. The main reason for their extinction must have been the change in their habitat and climate,  as well as human hunters who helped decrease the population from their habitat.

Naming the giant armadillo

The word armadillo means 'little armored one,' and this world is originated from the Spanish language. They are also known as tatou, ocarro, tatu canastra, and their scientific name is Priodontes maximus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals, including saber-toothed cat or tenrec.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our armadillo coloring pages.

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