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The Armadillo's are coming!!!

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.. Interesting thing I found out today... While driving down I 24 near Chattanooga Tennessee this morning I happened across an Armadillo in the road.. And when I say "across" I literally mean "across'.. as in I drove across him.. Yup, he's  road kill.. Pancaked by 40 tons of pure crushing power..I maneuvered my steers away but the Drives got'um.. Oh well, I tried... But here's the interesting thing.. I was near Chattanooga Tennessee.. NOT IN TEXAS!!.. What are Armadillos doing in Tennessee?.. I've seen them as far north as Missouri as well.. Now this aint the first time I've seen them where I never thought they belonged but, today I got to think'n about it and did a little research.. Seems the armored creatures have been rapidly expanding their range and will expand as far north as NJ and PA.. Imagine that, Armadillos naturally occurring in NJ?.. weird but Cool.



Nine-banded armadillo 450px-Florida-015.jpg Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Cingulata Family: Dasypodidae Subfamily: Dasypodinae Genus: Dasypus Species: D. novemcinctus Binomial name Dasypus novemcinctus
Linnaeus, 1758 330px-Common_Long-nosed_Armadillo_area.p Nine-banded armadillo range

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos.[2] Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal[3][4] animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads.[5] It is the state small mammal of Texas.




The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss.[6]

The current (circa 2009–2010) range (shaded red), and predicted future range (shaded pink) of the nine-banded armadillo in the USA

The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only regularly occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.[7] The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, and the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and all points southward on the East Coast of the United States. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate.[7] As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, and Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east.[8][9][10] In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, and within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state.[6] In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington).[11][12] Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range.[6]


Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles, especially in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, and occasionally bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits, and seeds are occasionally eaten.[13][14]

Nine-banded armadillo in natural habitat (near Memphis, TN, 2010)

Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14.3 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillos.[15] Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell.[15][16] The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armor covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae attach to the carapace.[17] The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America.[6] Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments.[17] Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging.[17] Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded armadillo, the actual number varies by geographic range.[17] Armadillos possess the teeth typical of all sloths and anteaters. The teeth are all small, peg-like molars with open roots and no enamel. Incisors do form in the embryos, but quickly degenerate and are usually absent by birth.[17]

Nine-banded armadillo on its hind legs
Armadillo burrow
in Nuevo León, Mexico

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 in (20 cm) wide, 7 ft (2.1 m) deep, and 25 ft (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, feces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Females tend to have exclusive, clearly defined territories. Males have larger territories, but theirs often overlap, and can coincide with the ranges of several females. Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger.


If alarmed, nine-banded armadillos can flee with surprising speed. Occasionally, a large predator may be able to ambush the armadillo before it can clear a distance, and breach the hard carapace with a well-placed bite or swipe. If the fleeing escape fails, the armadillo may quickly dig a shallow trench and lodge itself inside. Predators are rarely able to dislodge the animal once it has burrowed itself, and abandon their prey when they cannot breach the armadillo’s armor or grasp its tapered tail.[6] Due to their softer carapaces, juvenile armadillos are more likely to fall victim to natural predation and their cautious behavior generally reflects this. Young nine-banded armadillos tend to forage earlier in the day and are more wary of the approach of an unknown animal (including humans) than are adults. Their known natural predators include cougars (perhaps the leading predator), maned wolves, coyotes, black bears, red wolves, jaguars, alligators, bobcats, and large raptors. By far the leading predator of nine-banded armadillos today is humans, as armadillos are locally harvested for their meat and shells and many thousands fall victim to auto accidents every year.[18][19]




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I seem to recall seeing them once in a while in southern MO when I lived out there in the late 80s.   



.. Aaah yes.. good ol' Missouri.. One of my favorite states.. You can still smoke in restaurants . :smoking: .. And the all but forgotten Ozarks are gorgeous.. ( better in Arkansas though) .. And the old limestone caves now used for storage are cool as hell.. ( lol kinda a oxymoron eh?) .. I took a few photos last time I made a delivery to one.. The one in the pic below belongs to Kraft Foods... But anyway.. I gather Armadillos weren't yet established in MO back in the 80s.. Perhaps you didn't see what you thought you saw..  Another thing.. From what I understand Mountain Lions are trying to establish themselves there.. :rock:








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Axiom - I had a customer in those caves!  I've been in them myself.  Forgot all about them until you posted just now.  I had neighbors that had a cabin on a river in the Ozarks that wasn't too bad a ride from where I lived in Chesterfield, MO and we spent a bunch of weekends down there.  

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:hmmmer: .. U were selling tools made out of bone and stone to cavemen back in the 80s?... :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:


That cabin on the river sounds nice.. :up:

Was that outside Kansas City?  Can't recall the name of that river, but what a blast we had on weekends down there.  


My customer would have been a corrugated box manufacturer that was lurking in dem dar caves.  I completely forgot all about those until your picture - strangest damn place I ever had a client located in by far!  

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    Na, It was around Springfield MO off I 44... Funny how Kansas City is actually in MO.. That's like NYC being in NJ.. odd.. :headscratch:


Ah yes, now I remember.  I had another account in Springfield outside those tunnels which is where I first visited a "superstore", the original Bass Pro Shop where Dick Morris bought a defunct mall and turned it into a mega store.  Thanks for jogging my memory.  

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