"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"To show the armadillo it can be done."
You have to admire them. Despite their odd appearance and their penchance for
ending up as roadkill, the armadillo is one determined critter. Over the years
they've migrated from the Southwest, slowly making their way north despite their
sensitivity to cold. Unfortunately, the reason we know they're migrating is due
to the increasing number of dead dillos lining the highways. Oh well...
I've been collecting armadillo memorabilia for about 20 years now, ranging
from stuffed animals to movie drinking cups to hats to you name it. Mind you,
it's not easy finding the stuff up here, but then again,if I lived in Texas,
it'd be too easy!
Some interesting facts about our little armored friends:
- Armadillos are mammals. Interestingly, they are the only other creature
besides humans that can contract leprosy. (Uh-oh)
- There are about 20 species of armadillo, ranging from the 130-pound giant
armadillo to the pygmy.
- The peba, or nine-banded armadillo, is found in South and Central America,
Texas, southern Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and parts of
- The six-banded armadillo, the three-banded armadillo (the apar), and the
giant armadillo (not to be confused with the giant, invisible, Lone Star
Beer-swilling armadillo) are all found in South America.
- Nine-banded armadillos cannot curl up into impregnable balls--which is
just as well, as the shells are pliable and relatively thin. But their
smoothness makes it difficult for predators to get a good grip.
- Dillos can leap up three or four feet when startled. Which explains the
interesting truck grille art in Texas.
- Dillos are fairly quick on the ground and excellent swimmers.
- Dillos have no incisors or canines, and only spikelike, unenameled molars.
Their main diet is grubs and other soft, chewy bugs.
- Dillos are near-sighted as hell.
- Armadillos have the smallest brains of any North American mammal.
(Explains a lot, doesn't it?)
- Armadillos only mate once a year, and always give birth to four
genetically identical infants of the same sex.
This is from The Armadillo Book by Bill Bryant, copyright
1983. The ISBN is 0-88289-383-1, if you're feeling particularly dedicated to
finding a copy.
Other books you might want to check out include:
The Armadillo from Amarillo by Lynne Cherry (ISBN
Armadillo Ray by John Beifuss (Peggy Turley illos) (ISBN
The Beginning of the Armadillos by Rudyard Kipling (several
books, try ISBN 0-15-20638-03)
Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett (ISBN 0399228039)
Be sure to check out Amazon.com for these and other books!
armadillo collection, lovingly photo-compiled last January (and in dire need
A card so cute
it'll make you barf.
A Christmas Card so
cute it'll make you barf.
An article from
several years back about Lincoln, a baby armadillo born at the St. Louis
Back in 1992, the United States Interregional Soccer League
(remember them? Didn't think so) had none other than the Austin Soccadillos. Here's the cover to
their program book.
A rather battered
postcard from many years back.
The illos on this page (and on the main page) were obtained from
Dr. Deborah W. Craton's
home page. She's another dedicated collector and has a great list of links to
Got dillo problems? Check out Armadillo
The October 1995 issue of Smithsonian had an excellent article
CyberDillo is a great
little site with a lot to offer, including the
(from Wiley’s Non Sequitur)