Monday, May 25, 2009


I weekended at the Country Estate; and, as usual, took a wander around the grounds with my morning coffee. It was a soggy, muddy venture. The edge of the driveway looked curiously muddier than expected, however...closer examination revealed:

displaced mulch.
scratchy marks in the dirt.
some poke-y holes in the ground.
funny footprints.

And there was some kind of snuffling/scuffling noise down in the ravine...

And then:


So much fun to see! Especially alive, and not mooshed in the middle of a road!

So I did a little armadillo research, and learned:

Armadillos are mammals. Not marsupials, not lizards.
They are related to anteaters and sloths.
There is only one type of armadillo in the US - the Nine-Banded Armadillo.
Armadillos live 12 to 15 years.
The Giant Armadillo is 5 feet long.
They are beneficial because they eat icky things, like fire ants and termites.
They are in constant motion while grazing, which is why all of my photos are blurry.
They grunt as they eat, and are so focused that you can walk right up to them.
Since they sometimes eat roadkill, they often become roadkill.
Armadillos give birth to 4 identical babies, conceived of 1 egg cell that divides.
If you find an abandoned baby, you must bury its food, so it learns to forage.
You can feed the baby armadillo cat food and lettuce.
Armadillos sink in water. They can cross streams by walking on the bottom.
Or, they can suck up a bunch of air, and float across the water.
Armadillos sleep 16 hours a day.
People eat them. In some locales they are kept as edible pets.
They taste like pork. (Hearsay. I will not be testing armadillo recipes.)
But you should cook armadillo meat well, because they can carry leprosy.
(The only other mammal that carries leprosy is...humans!)

Armadillos are really, really cute. And I would rather photograph them than eat them.

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