Armadillo (Six banded)

Euphractus sexcinctus

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

For more info on classifications, visit www.iucnredlist.org

Least Concern

Factfile

Where they live

East of South America - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay

Habitat

Mainly found in open plains but inhabit a variety of habitat, from more dense forests to savannah

Size

Head and body length: 40-50 cm, tail length: 20-25 cm

Weight

3.2 - 6 kg

Lifespan

15-18 years

Did you know...

  • Six-banded armadillo get their name from six moveable bands found in their armour which is formed from plates of bone covered in scales formed of keratin.
  • Six-banded armadillo cannot roll into a ball like others to stay safe from predators instead they flee into 2-meter-deep burrows they dig. To aid in burrowing armadillo can close their ears and nostrils.
  • Six-banded armadillo are also capable swimmers, inhaling air before swimming to aid in buoyancy.
  • Also known as "yellow armadillo" and unlike most other armadillo species, six-banded armadillos are diurnal meaning they are most active in the day.
  • Armadillo are most closely related to sloths and anteaters having small eyes, big claws and pointy or shovel shaped snouts.

More about Armadillos...

The six-banded armadillo is an omnivore having a varied diet consisting of mostly leaves fruits and tubules while also eating small invertebrates and carrion. Their eyesight is poor and so when searching for food use their strong sense of smell to hunt. Their sticky tongue, strong legs and large claws on their forelimbs make them great at hoovering up ants and termites as they dig and move around their burrows. At times where food becomes scarce the six-banded armadillo can use subcutaneous fat stores to support themselves.

Armadillo’s recognisable shell is a unique bony armour called the osteoderm which serves as protection against predators; they are the only living mammal with such a shell. However, unlike three-banded armadillo, the six-banded armadillo cannot fully curl up into a ball and so by nature tend to be more skittish as their response to predation tends to be running into their dens!

Despite being listed as a least concern species with a ‘stable’ population by the IUCN Red List, six-banded armadillo do face threats out in the wild from hunting for their meat and shell. Some communities will persecute armadillo as they have a reputation for eating crops.

How you can help...

Adopt a Armadillo (Six banded)!

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Help support our zoo with a Gold adoption package with an additional zoo admission ticket, and personalised message displayed outside your adopted animalʼs enclosure.

£55.00

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£41.50

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