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Giant Armadillo: The Armored One printer.gif

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The Giant Armadillo is perhaps the most unusual-looking animals in all of South America. Their armor is made up of horns and bone that protect the armadillo's body from predators. The armadillo's head is also protected by a bony "helmet," as is their tail. In fact, "armadillo" translates to "the little armored one.

The giant armadillo can reach up to 130 lbs, but most only weigh 40 to 70 lbs. They eat just about anything: ants, grubs, insects, worms, snakes, and even carrion (decaying flesh). Their powerful claws make them good hunters. And even though they are really big, giant armadillos can stand on two legs, using their tail for balance.

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Over-Hunting has cause the giant armadillo to become extremely endangered.

Even though there are several species of armadillos, found throughout the Americas, the giant armadillo is only found east of the Andes, from Venezuela to Argentina. However, giant armadillos used to have a much larger range into the woodlands and tropical rainforests of South America. Habitat loss and over-hunting have caused giant armadillos to be extremely rare these days.

Like all armadillos, the giant armadillo makes its home underground or in mud-walled burrows. Their cousins are the anteater and the sloth. Can you find any similar physical characteristics? Do any of them look similar?

For further exploration, check out the following web sites.

The Wilderness Classroom's Rainforest Library

National Geographic's Animal Facts and Photos

Kid's Planet: Giant Armadillos

How should we change our habits to help the planet?

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