Lake Superior Zoo Revue: The Three Banded Armadillo
Eddie is a newer member of the Lake Superior Zoo family having arrived at his new home just last month. But he is so cool and calm that he be is going to be one of their new ambassador animals for educational programming! As you can see from the picture above, Eddie is in protective mode as he has rolled himself into a ball to discourage predators from being able to attack him.
Armadillos have a great sense of smell that helps them find their next meal! They are insectivores, which means they eat insects like ants, termites, and larvae. Three-banded armadillos use their front claws that are long and sharp to dig for insects.
Many years ago when I was at the zoo broadcasting live, I was able to go inside the sloth exhibit and pet her, not realizing their was an armadillo right below me in the exhibit as well. All of a sudden I feel something clawing at my foot. Thankfully I was wearing very thick shoes so nothing happened. Turns out this particular armadillo had somewhat of a foot fetish. I died laughing after I got over the initial shock and seeing what was clawing at my foot.
Three-banded armadillos are found in South America in countries like Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina and are listed as threatened by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN). They live in dry grasslands and forests. Armadillos are the only mammals that have a shell – their shell is made up of bony plates that are covered by hard skin. They are about the size of a soccer ball when rolled up into a ball, which as I mentioned is to protect them from predators!
Make sure to tune in Friday July 30 at 8:15 am with Jeanne and Cooper as we talk more about Eddie, with Haley from Lake Superior Zoo!