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Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: " 6c:_from__...
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placental mammals in the order (biology)">order Order, ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is a quality that is characterized by a person’s interest in keeping their surroundings and themselves well organized, and is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness a ...
Cingulata. The
Chlamyphoridae Chlamyphoridae is a family of Cingulata, cingulate mammals. While glyptodonts have traditionally been considered stem-group cingulates outside the group that contains modern armadillos, there had been speculation that the extant family Dasypodid ...
and Dasypodidae are the only surviving family (biology), families in the order, which is part of the superorder Xenarthra, along with the anteaters and sloths. Nine extinct taxon, extinct
genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
and 21 extant
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
of armadillo have been described, some of which are distinguished by the number of bands on their armor. All species are native to the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
, where they inhabit a variety of different environments. Armadillos are characterized by a leathery
armor Armour (British English) or armor (American English; see American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, spelling differences) is a covering to protect an object, individual, or vehicle from damage, especially direct contact weapon ...
shell and long sharp claws for digging. They have short legs, but can move quite quickly. The average length of an armadillo is about , including tail. The
giant armadillo The giant armadillo (''Priodontes maximus''), colloquially ''tatou'', ''ocarro'', ''tatu-canastra'' or ''tatú carreta'', is the largest living species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification a ...

giant armadillo
grows up to and weighs up to , while the
pink fairy armadillo The pink fairy armadillo (''Chlamyphorus truncatus'') or ''pichiciego'' is the smallest species of armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals in the order (biology), order Cingulata. T ...
has a length of only . When threatened by a predator, ''Tolypeutes'' species frequently roll up into a ball (these being the only species of Armadillo capable of such).


Etymology

The word ''armadillo'' means "little armored one" in Spanish. The
Aztecs The Aztecs () were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec peoples included different Indigenous peoples of Mexico, ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those ...

Aztecs
called them ''āyōtōchtli'' ,
Nahuatl Nahuatl (; ),The Classical Nahuatl word (noun stem ''nāhua'', + absolutive ''-tl'' ) is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl (the standard spelling in the Spanish language),() Nao ...

Nahuatl
for "turtle-rabbit": ''āyōtl'' (turtle) and ''tōchtli'' (rabbit). View entry a
"ayotoch"
in ''Nahuatl Dictionary'', by the Wired Humanities Projects, Stephanie Wood (ed.) Retrieved 2015-07-22.
The
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
word for "armadillo" is ''tatu'' which is derived from the
Tupi language Old Tupi or classical Tupi (also spelled as Tupí) is an extinct Tupian language The Tupi or Tupian language family comprises some 70 languages spoken in South America, of which the best known are Tupi language, Tupi proper and Guarani langua ...
. Similar names are also found in other, especially European, languages.


Classification

Family
Dasypodidae Dasypodidae is a family of mostly extinct genera of armadillos. One genus, '' Dasypus'', is extant, with at least seven living species. __TOC__ Classification Below is a taxonomy of armadillos in this family. Family Dasypodidae *† Genus '' ...
* Subfamily Dasypodinae ** Genus ''
Dasypus ''Dasypus'' is the only extant genus in the family Dasypodidae Dasypodidae is a family of mostly extinct genera of armadillos. One genus, '' Dasypus'', is extant, with at least seven living species. __TOC__ Classification Below is a taxonom ...
'' ***
Nine-banded armadillo Image:Armadillo range expansion.png, 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 (''Dasypus novemcinctus''), or the nine-banded ...

Nine-banded armadillo
or long-nosed armadillo, ''Dasypus novemcinctus'' *** Seven-banded armadillo, ''Dasypus septemcinctus'' ***
Southern long-nosed armadillo
Southern long-nosed armadillo
, ''Dasypus hybridus'' *** Llanos long-nosed armadillo, ''Dasypus sabanicola'' *** Greater long-nosed armadillo, ''Dasypus kappleri'' *** Hairy long-nosed armadillo, ''Dasypus pilosus'' *** Yepes's mulita, ''Dasypus yepesi'' ***†Beautiful armadillo, ''
Dasypus bellus ''Dasypus bellus'', the beautiful armadillo, is an extinct armadillo species endemic to North America and South America from the Pleistocene, living from 1.8 Annum, mya—11,000 years ago, existing for approximately . Slightly larger than its liv ...
'' ** Genus †''
Stegotherium
Stegotherium
'' Family
Chlamyphoridae Chlamyphoridae is a family of Cingulata, cingulate mammals. While glyptodonts have traditionally been considered stem-group cingulates outside the group that contains modern armadillos, there had been speculation that the extant family Dasypodid ...
* Subfamily
Chlamyphorinae Chlamyphorinae is a subfamily of South American armadillos in the family Chlamyphoridae. Members of this subfamily, the fairy armadillos, are largely fossorial and have reduced eyes and robust forearms with large claws for digging. __TOC__ Taxo ...
** Genus '' Calyptophractus'' ***
Greater fairy armadillo The greater fairy armadillo (''Calyptophractus retusus''), also known as Burmeister's armadillo or the Chacoan fairy armadillo, is a species of armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals ...
, ''Calyptophractus retusus'' ** Genus '' Chlamyphorus'' ***
Pink fairy armadillo The pink fairy armadillo (''Chlamyphorus truncatus'') or ''pichiciego'' is the smallest species of armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals in the order (biology), order Cingulata. T ...
, ''Chlamyphorus truncatus'' * Subfamily Euphractinae ** Genus ''
Chaetophractus ''Chaetophractus'' is a small genus of armadillos in the family Chlamyphoridae. It contains the following three species: Members of the genus are endemic to the continent of South America. They are found in the central and southern countries su ...
'' *** Screaming hairy armadillo, ''Chaetophractus vellerosus'' *** Big hairy armadillo, ''Chaetophractus villosus'' *** Andean hairy armadillo, ''Chaetophractus nationi'' **Genus †'' Macroeuphractus'' **Genus †'' Paleuphractus'' **Genus †'' Proeuphractus'' **Genus †'' Doellotatus'' **Genus †'' Peltephilus'' *** †Horned armadillo, ''Peltephilus ferox'' ** Genus '' Euphractus'' *** Six-banded armadillo, ''Euphractus sexcinctus'' ** Genus '' Zaedyus'' ***
Pichi The pichi (''Zaedyus pichiy''), dwarf armadillo or pygmy armadillo is an armadillo native to Argentina. It is the only living member of the genus ''Zaedyus'', and the only armadillo to hibernate. Description Pichis are relatively small armadil ...
, ''Zaedyus pichiy'' * Subfamily Tolypeutinae ** Genus †'' Kuntinaru'' ** Genus ''
Cabassous ''Cabassous'' is a genus of South and Central American armadillos. The name is the Latinised form of the Carib language, Kalini word for "armadillo". Cladogram of living ''Cabassous'' The genus contains the following four species: References ...
'' *** Northern naked-tailed armadillo, ''Cabassous centralis'' *** Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo, ''Cabassous chacoensis'' *** Southern naked-tailed armadillo, ''Cabassous unicinctus'' *** Greater naked-tailed armadillo, ''Cabassous tatouay'' ** Genus '' Priodontes'' ***
Giant armadillo The giant armadillo (''Priodontes maximus''), colloquially ''tatou'', ''ocarro'', ''tatu-canastra'' or ''tatú carreta'', is the largest living species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification a ...

Giant armadillo
, ''Priodontes maximus'' ** Genus ''
Tolypeutes The genus ''Tolypeutes'' contains the two species of three-banded armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the ...
'' ***
Southern three-banded armadillo The southern three-banded armadillo (''Tolypeutes matacus''), also called the Brazilian three-banded armadillo, is an armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals in the order (biology), o ...
, ''Tolypeutes matacus'' ***
Brazilian three-banded armadillo The Brazilian three-banded armadillo (''Tolypeutes tricinctus'') is an armadillo species endemic to eastern Brazil, where it is known as (, lit. ball armadillo). It is one of only two species of armadillo that can roll into a ball (the other is t ...
, ''Tolypeutes tricinctus'' † indicates extinct taxon


Phylogeny

Below is a recent simplified phylogeny of the xenarthran families, which includes armadillos, based on Slater et al. (2016) and Delsuc et al. (2016). The dagger symbol, "†", denotes extinct groups.


Evolution

Recent genetic research suggests that an extinct group of giant armored mammals, the
glyptodont Glyptodonts are an extinct clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal de ...

glyptodont
s, should be included within the lineage of armadillos, having diverged some 35 million years ago, more recently than previously assumed.


Distribution

Like all of the Xenarthra lineages, armadillos originated in South America. Due to the continent's former isolation, they were confined there for most of the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
. The recent formation of the
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Ka ...
allowed a few members of the family to migrate northward into southern North America by the early
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
, as part of the
Great American Interchange The Great American Biotic Interchange (commonly abbreviated as GABI), also known as the Great American Interchange or Great American Faunal Interchange, was an important late Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An er ...
. (Some of their much larger
cingulate File:Gray743 cingulate gyrus.png, 250px, Coronal section of brain. Cingulate cortex is shown in yellow. The cingulate cortex is a part of the brain situated in the medial aspect of the cerebral cortex. The cingulate cortex includes the entire cin ...

cingulate
relatives, the pampatheres and chlamyphorid
glyptodont Glyptodonts are an extinct clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal de ...

glyptodont
s, made the same journey.) Today, all extant armadillo species are still present in South America. They are particularly diverse in
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tetã Paraguái, links=no), is a country in South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively sma ...

Paraguay
(where 11 species exist) and surrounding areas. Many species are endangered. Some, including four species of ''
Dasypus ''Dasypus'' is the only extant genus in the family Dasypodidae Dasypodidae is a family of mostly extinct genera of armadillos. One genus, '' Dasypus'', is extant, with at least seven living species. __TOC__ Classification Below is a taxonom ...
'', are widely distributed over the Americas, whereas others, such as Yepes's mulita, are restricted to small ranges. Two species, the northern naked-tailed armadillo and
nine-banded armadillo Image:Armadillo range expansion.png, 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 (''Dasypus novemcinctus''), or the nine-banded ...

nine-banded armadillo
, are found in Central America; the latter has also reached the United States, primarily in the south-central states (notably Texas), but with a range that extends as far east as
North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily news ...

North Carolina
and
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
, and as far north as southern
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
and southern
Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 38th-largest by area and the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 17th-most populous o ...

Indiana
. Their range has consistently expanded in North America over the last century due to a lack of natural predators.


Characteristics


Size

Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals. The smallest species, the pink fairy armadillo, is roughly
chipmunk Chipmunks are small, striped rodents of the family Sciuridae. Chipmunks are found in North America, with the exception of the Siberian chipmunk which is found primarily in Asia. Taxonomy and systematics Chipmunks may be classified either as a ...

chipmunk
-sized at and in total length. The largest species, the giant armadillo, can reach the size of a small
pig The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous An omnivore () is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and ani ...

pig
and weigh up to , and can be long.


Diet and predation

They are prolific diggers. Many species use their sharp claws to dig for food, such as grubs, and to dig dens. The nine-banded armadillo prefers to build burrows in moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos around which it lives and feeds. The diets of different armadillo species vary, but consist mainly of
insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

insect
s, grubs, and other
invertebrate Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a ''backbone'' or ''spine''), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the chordata, chordate subphylum vertebrate, Vertebra ...
s. Some species, however, feed almost entirely on ants and termites. Armadillos have very poor eyesight, and use their keen sense of smell to hunt for food. They use their claws for digging and finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows. They dig their burrows with their claws, making only a single corridor the width of the animal's body. They have five clawed toes on their hind feet, and three to five toes with heavy digging claws on their fore feet. Armadillos have numerous cheek teeth which are not divided into
premolar The premolars, also called premolar teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a Tissue (biology), body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be de ...
s and molars, but usually have no
incisor Incisors (from Latin ''incidere'', "to cut") are the front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcified Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a Tissue (biology), body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone ...
s or
canine Canine may refer to: Zoology * dog-like mammals (i.e. members of the canid subfamily Caninae) ** ''Canis'', a genus including dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals ** Dog, the domestic dog * Canine tooth, in mammalian oral anatomy Other uses * Canin ...
s. The
dentition Dentition pertains to the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth In animal anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their par ...

dentition
of the nine-banded armadillo is P 7/7, M 1/1 = 32.


Body temperature

In common with other xenarthrans, armadillos, in general, have low
body temperature Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, properties of life. It is a sy ...
s of and low basal metabolic rates (40–60% of that expected in placental mammals of their mass). This is particularly true of types that specialize in using termites as their primary food source (for example, '' Priodontes'' and ''
Tolypeutes The genus ''Tolypeutes'' contains the two species of three-banded armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the ...
'').


Skin

The armor is formed by plates of
dermal bone A dermal bone or investing bone or membrane bone is a bony structure derived from intramembranous ossification Intramembranous ossification is one of the two essential processes during fetal A fetus American and British English spelling diffe ...
covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called "
scute A scute or scutum (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
s", composed of bone with a covering of horn. Most species have rigid shields over the shoulders and hips, with a number of bands separated by flexible skin covering the back and flanks. Additional armor covers the top of the head, the upper parts of the limbs, and the tail. The underside of the animal is never armored, and is simply covered with soft skin and fur. This armor-like skin appears to be the main defense of many armadillos, although most escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armor protects them) or digging to safety. Only the South American three-banded armadillos (''Tolypeutes'') rely heavily on their armor for protection.


Defensive behavior

When threatened by a
predator Predation is a biological interaction In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical en ...

predator
, ''Tolypeutes'' species frequently roll up into a ball. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates. The North American nine-banded armadillo tends to jump straight in the air when surprised, so consequently often collides with the undercarriage or fenders of passing vehicles to its demise.


Movement

Armadillos have short legs, but can move quite quickly. The nine-banded armadillo is noted for its movement through water which is accomplished via two different methods: it can walk underwater for short distances, holding its breath for as long as six minutes; also, to cross larger bodies of water, it is capable of increasing its buoyancy by swallowing air, inflating its stomach and intestines.


Reproduction

Gestation Gestation is the period of development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development ...
lasts from 60 to 120 days, depending on species, although the nine-banded armadillo also exhibits
delayed implantation Embryonic diapause (from late 19th century English: dia- ‘through’ + pause- 'delay') (aka delayed implantation) is a Reproduction, reproductive strategy used by approximately 100 different mammals in seven or eight different order (biology), ord ...
, so the young are not typically born for eight months after mating. Most members of the genus ''Dasypus'' give birth to four
monozygotic Twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy.MedicineNet > Definition of TwinLast Editorial Review: 19 June 2000 Twins can be either ''monozygotic'' ('identical'), meaning that they develop from one zygote, which splits and forms two em ...
young (that is, identical quadruplets), but other species may have typical litter sizes that range from one to eight. The young are born with soft, leathery skin which hardens within a few weeks. They reach sexual maturity in three to twelve months, depending on the species. Armadillos are solitary animals that do not share their burrows with other adults.


Armadillos and humans


In science


Disease

Armadillos are often used in the study of
leprosy Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a long-term Long-Term Capital Management L.P. (LTCM) was a hedge fund''A financial History of the United States Volume II: 1970–2001'', Jerry W. Markham, Chapter 5: "Bank Consolidation", M. E. ...

leprosy
, since they, along with mangabey monkeys, rabbits, and mice (on their footpads), are among the few known species that can contract the disease systemically. They are particularly susceptible due to their unusually low body temperature, which is hospitable to the leprosy bacterium, ''
Mycobacterium leprae ''Mycobacterium leprae'' is a bacterium that causes leprosy, also known as "Hansen’s disease", which is a chronic infectious disease that damages the peripheral nerves and targets the skin, eyes, nose, and muscles. Leprosy can occur at all ages ...
''. (The leprosy bacterium is difficult to culture and armadillos have a body temperature of , similar to human skin.) Humans can acquire a leprosy infection from armadillos by handling them or consuming armadillo meat. Armadillos are a presumed
vector Vector may refer to: Biology *Vector (epidemiology) In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined pop ...
and
natural reservoir In infectious An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agents and the toxin A toxin is a harmful substance produced wi ...
for the disease in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late 15th century, leprosy was unknown in the New World. Given that armadillos are native to the New World, at some point they must have acquired the disease from old-world humans. The armadillo is also a
natural reservoir In infectious An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agents and the toxin A toxin is a harmful substance produced wi ...
for
Chagas disease Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a tropical disease, tropical parasitic disease caused by ''Trypanosoma cruzi''. It is spread mostly by insects known as ''Triatominae'', or "kissing bugs". The symptoms change over the ...
.


Reproduction

The nine-banded armadillo also serves science through its unusual reproductive system, in which four genetically identical offspring are born, the result of one original egg. Because they are always genetically identical, the group of four young provides a good subject for scientific, behavioral, or medical tests that need consistent biological and genetic makeup in the test subjects. This is the only reliable manifestation of polyembryony in the class
Mammalia Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian female, females produce milk ...

Mammalia
, and exists only within the genus ''Dasypus'' and not in all armadillos, as is commonly believed. Other species that display this trait include parasitoid wasps, certain flatworms, and various aquatic invertebrates.


Education

Armadillos (mainly ''Dasypus'') are common
roadkill Roadkill is an animal or animals that have been struck and killed by drivers of motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machi ...

roadkill
due to their habit of jumping 3–4 ft vertically when startled, which puts them into collision with the underside of vehicles. Wildlife enthusiasts are using the northward march of the armadillo as an opportunity to educate others about the animals, which can be a burrowing nuisance to property owners and managers.


As musical instruments

Armadillo shells have traditionally been used to make the back of the ''
charango The charango is a small Andes, Andean stringed instrument of the lute family, which probably originated in the Quechua people, Quechua and Aymara people, Aymara populations in the territory of the Altiplano in post-Colonial times, after European s ...

charango
'', an
Andean The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent e ...
lute A lute ( or ) is any plucked string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when a performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner. Musicia ...

lute
instrument.


As food

In certain parts of
Central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

Central
and
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
, armadillo meat is eaten; it is a popular ingredient in . During the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, Americans were known to eat armadillo, known begrudgingly as "Hoover hogs", a nod to the belief that President
Herbert Hoover Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American politician and engineer who served as the 31st president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...

Herbert Hoover
was responsible for the economic despair facing the nation at that time.


In literature

A whimsical account of ''The Beginning of the Armadillos'' is one of the chapters of
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical pub ...

Rudyard Kipling
's ''
Just So Stories ''Just So Stories for Little Children'' is a 1902 collection of origin stories by the British author Rudyard Kipling. Considered a classic of children's literature Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, ma ...
'' 1902 children's book.


References


Further reading

* *


External links


"Armadillo online" website
hosted b
Photographs of armadillo rolling into a ball
* {{Authority control Armadillos Cingulates Rolling animals Extant Thanetian first appearances Mammal common names