Friday, May 21, 2010

Armadillo Herd




A litter of young armadillos foraging in our yard late Wednesday afternoon.

Armadillos have a unique reproductive scheme. Only one egg is fertilized. That egg divides and the resulting two eggs also divide once. Hence, a normal armadillo litter is always identical quadruplets.

Adult armadillos are solitary. After leaving their nest burrow, litter mates remain together for a relatively brief time before going their separate ways.

For more information on the Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), please see:
The Mammals of Texas






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21 comments:

Deb said...

I enjoy all your posts, but have to give particular thumbs up to these guys. Had no idea about the reproductive scheme.

KaHolly said...

I haven't seen armadillos in years and years! They are so cute. ~karen

jason said...

That's so cool, Marvin. They're too cute. I'm always fascinated by armadillos.

MObugs said...

These are so adorable. I can't help but really like these little guys. Even if everyone around here calls them "Possums on the half-shell". I say CUTE! but then again I like opossums too :o)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

They are sort of cute creatures. No wonder you have so much fencing around your veggies. I bet these little cuties are death to a vegetable garden. Are they different than the ones in Texas? It seems like the ones in TX are a lighter color. I bet your dogs have a hay day chasing armadillos.

Ted C. MacRae said...

What a great shot!

Marvin said...

Armadillos are unique in so many different ways, its impossible not to like them, but they can totally wreck a garden bed.

As far as I know, the Nine-banded is the only species that's moved into North America.

Armadillos are primarily nocturnal so our house dogs seldom encounter them. When they do, the dogs are fast enough to "catch" the diller, but too small to inflict any damage as the critter runs off into the woods.

I often see adult armadillos at night, but have only seen young ones still together twice, and both sighting were during the day.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Cute critters! I think I have discovered an armadillo hole on the west fence line of my yard, and something has been playing havoc around the flower beds, digging holes that no squirrel could possibly dig. Since I don't have a dog, how does one get rid of an armadillo?

Marvin said...

Your description does, indeed, sound like an armadillo to me, Pat. They are tough to get rid of -- aside from applying lethal force when you encounter one, which I know you don't want to do.

Live traps don't work well at all. There's no bait I'm aware of that will attract an armadillo. That said, I have caught an armadillo in a live trap by setting up 2 X 4 barricades that funneled the diller into the trap. However, armadillo are very strong and can usually bend the average live trap out of shape and escape.

Lana Gramlich said...

Very informative! I didn't know that about armadillos. I know that a lot of people consider them pests, but I kind of like them...

Q said...

Hi Marvin,
I have so enjoyed catching up with you this afternoon. I think the armadillos are cute, but I have never had to protect the veggies from them. The raccoons and deer have been more than enough!
Sherry

AphotoAday said...

Definitely creatures from Outer Space!

jeannette said...

Wow, I've never seen armadillos (maybe in the zoo:) ) so this is special to me!
Thanks for the info. you gave me (I'll have to research what to do about it) -which post were you trying to download?

Marvin said...

Thanks, Jeannette. It was the "Yesterday" post I was downloading when I encountered the malware issue. All I had to block was one favicon element.

tess said...

WoW! I love that photo because you rarely see them depicted together. Also, I have never seen an armadillo outside of photos and drawings so this is just a wow moment for me.
Thanks!

birdy said...

What a strange creature Marvin! You capture them beautifully.

WR said...

Greetings Marvin~

A heard of armadillos...it boogles the mind! :-) have only seen them as road kill in the Southwest..so a herd scrampering through the woods...WOW

hope you and yours are well and thriving!

cindyzlogic said...

They are fascinating animals!

Amber said...

I've never seen so many armadillos at once. Cool! I know we have a few around the house, but I don't mind them digging...it saves me the trouble of turning the soil. :-)

Kay said...

cute! But I'm glad they are not in my garden!

Gary said...

Great shots and a great post. We don't have those!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.