Three-banded Armadillo

Armadillos are famous for their defensive, armored shells. The three-banded armadillo can actually roll itself completely into a ball. Often it will leave its shell open just enough for a would-be predator’s nose or paw to poke through. Suddenly the armadillo slams shut its shell, clamping down tightly and causing injury to the intruder, which is generally enough to send a predator packing.

Six-banded Armadillo

An armadillo’s protective shell is made of bony plates, called scutes, covered with horny skin. Where the armadillo is most vulnerable to natural predators is the underbelly, which is soft and hairy as it would be with most other mammals.

Screaming Hairy Armadillo

As its name implies, the screaming hairy armadillo squeals when threatened, perhaps by a hungry jaguar. Resting inside a burrow dug deep into a sand dune, it escapes the heat of a summer day. In winter, the armadillo is more active during the day.