Surprising Facts About the Armor of the California Armadillo You Didn't Know

The Vallejo armadillo has a unique characteristic that separates them from the rest of the mammals. They have the furry trait of the mammal and the scaly feature of the reptiles. They are armed with a peculiar, flexible, and sturdy shell that they use to defend against the bites of their prey. They move fast which implies that this shell do not thwart their movement. Their carapace is made from thousands of small plates that grow within their skin. The armor keeps them protected while still allowing them to fulfill their regular task such as digging, hunting for food, and swimming.

How the Armor of Armadillo Works

Compared to other Vallejo animals that have shells, the armadillos are agile creatures. Their speed has become an essential part of their lifestyle and survival. The bony plates that formed their shell are called osteoderms. Armadillos will have varying shell in terms of thickness; however, we can’t necessarily call it as ‘thick’. For instance, the shell of the 9-banded armadillos is around 1/10-inch thick. Nonetheless, their shell will make up the 15% of their total body weight.

Protecting the Small Creatures

At a quick glance, the armor of the armadillo may have been developed for defensive purposes. According to the study, the thickness of the carapace is only enough to keep them safe from abrasion. Being protected against abrasion is essential to this creature due to their subterranean lifestyle. There are also instances when the strength of their shell will be enough to keep them safe from the stinging and bites of their prey. While most of the armadillos will prefer to eat worms, larva, and grubs, there are also types of armadillo that prefers the taste of the ant.

The Extent of the Armor’s Protection

The California armadillos cannot ultimately depend on their shells for protection. This is why they are digging their burrows to escape from the attack of their predators. Their burrows will be used to raise their young, sleep, mate, etc. One burrow will have multiple chambers and exit points. There are also certain types of armadillos who learned different kinds of behavioral tactics that help them survive. For instance, the Chaetophractus nationican will show aggressive behavior to the predators. The nine-banded types have the capacity to leap great heights in order to escape from the grasp of the predator. They’ve also learned how to play dead on the off chance that their predator caught them.

When they stumbled upon a Vallejo predator, the armadillo will first observe the movement of the animal. They will stay motionless for a few moments. Some predators will choose to ignore them. On the off chance that it is not effective, they will run and hide on the piles of woods or inside their burrow. If they’ve been threatened, the armadillo will jump straight to the predator to startle them and will immediately look for the safest route of escape. This means that they do not solely rely on their shell for protection.

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