The screaming hairy armadillo is the smallest of the armadillos in the genus Chaetophractus. It is a burrowing species found primarily in the South American desert range of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Screaming hairy armadillos are also known by the names, small screaming armadillos and small hairy armadillos. This species is also given some weird names like crying armadillo because of the nature of this species to scream or cry when threatened.
These animals are known to have a diet of mostly insects and the family of beetles gives this species all the nutrition they need. They are also known to feed on some plant materials, other small animals, and reptiles. The identification of screaming hairy armadillos is marked by the protective shield of the species. Shields on the head and between the ears can be seen. The carapace protects the back and has six to eight movable bands. The female is smaller than the male.
The population of this species native to Bolivia is in danger as they are targeted by hunters for their meat. This practice is reciprocated for the population in the rest of the range of the habitats too as these animals are also threatened by habitat degradation.
The screaming hairy armadillo is a species of armadillo from South America.
The screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is a member of the class of Mammalia in the kingdom of Animalia.
The population of screaming hairy armadillos is not known. However, the population is quite abundant currently with widespread distribution over all of its range.
The screaming hairy armadillo is native to central and southern parts of South America. The main population of this species is found in the Gran Chaco and Pampas regions of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. An isolated population of these animals is also found in the eastern Buenos Aires province in Argentina.
The screaming hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus vellerosus) has a range of habitat of subtropical to tropical dry forests, subtropical to tropical dry shrubland, temperate shrubland, temperate grassland, subtropical to tropical dry lowland grassland, hot deserts, temperate desert, pastureland, arable land, and plantations. They need areas to burrow and this is the reason this species is not seen in rocky areas. A dry habitat with loose, sandy soil is needed for the animal to burrow and is essential for survival. This species is found at altitudes up to 3280 ft (999.7 m).
They are nocturnal in summer and diurnal in winter. The burrow is made in the base of shrubs and bushes, and there can be multiple burrows in the same area.
Screaming hairy armadillos are solitary mammals. The species is known to stay in the burrow they make for themselves.
In human care, these animals can live up to the age of eight or nine years. There have been cases of this species living up to 15 years.
Very little is known about the breeding pattern of this species. The gestation period is known to be quite long and the breeding season is generally during fall. Two litters are produced on average each year by females and each litter by the female species contains one to two pups. The gestation period is 60-75 days. The eyes of the pups remain shut after birth and they only open the eyes after 16-30 days. Weaning is done in two months and the young become sexually mature in nine months.
The conservation status of screaming hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The population is quite widespread currently and there is no immediate threat to these animals. However, in the Chaco region of Bolivia, the armadillo is heavily hunted for its meat. Sometimes, it is also killed by hunting dogs as it is considered an agricultural pest in the region. Mining activities in Buenos Aires have also degraded the habitat along with the population of this animal. The carapace of the armadillo is popular in the market to make a South American musical instrument called a charangos.
Screaming hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus vellerosus) have thick armor around the body. The armor consists of a shield that covers the head, a small shield between the ears on the neck, and a carapace that covers the rest of the body of the armadillo. The carapace is made of 18 bands in total of which six to eight movable bands are found. This helps the animal to curl up if needed and also protects the shoulders, back, sides, and rump. It has more hair than other species of armadillos. The hair found in the dorsum is of light brown coloration. The limbs and belly are covered with whitish or light brown hairs. The carapace is colored brown. Male species are bigger than females. Both males and females are heavier in the winter as they have a thick layer of fat under the skin.
They can be considered quite cute.
Armadillos have a good sense of smell and this is how they communicate. They also have fairly good vision and hearing. This armadillo species are known to squeal if threatened.
Male screaming hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus vellerosus) have a length of 12.9-15.7 in (32.7-39.8 cm). A female is 10.4-16.5 in (26.5-41.8 cm) long.
The Andean hairy armadillo found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru has a range of length between 12.2-16 in (31-40.6 cm).
The speed is not known.
A male of this species has a weight of around 1.2-2.92 lb (544.3-1324.4 g). Females have a weight of 0.56-2.48 lb (254-1324.4 g).
The pink fairy armadillo from Argentina has a weight of around 0.25-0.28 lb (113.3-127 g).
Males and females of this species are not given different names. They are known by their common names and scientific name.
Babies of this species are called a pup.
A screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is an omnivore and has a diet of insects, vertebrates, and plant material. Among insects, beetles make up the majority of the diet of this species.
Screaming hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus vellerosus) are not considered dangerous to humans.
It is not common to see a screaming hairy armadillo pet in a household. Humans usually consume this animal species. There have been cases of this species as pets, but this is quite rare.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The screaming hairy armadillo does not attack humans.
Armadillos are not known to feed on snakes. However, there have been cases when these animals cut snakes with the help of their armor.
There is a species of armadillos called dwarf armadillo. This species is called a dwarf because of its small size of around 11 in (28 cm). A hairy screaming armadillo, however, is bigger with a length of around 16.5 in (42 cm).
Armadillos are known to make a grunting noise when foraging for food. When in danger, they squeak or squeal.
The screaming hairy armadillo sound is more or less like a scream but only heard if the animal is mishandled or threatened.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Indian hog deer facts and feist dog facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Screaming hairy armadillo coloring pages.