Six-Banded Armadillo Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Six-banded Armadillo

Scientific Name:

Euphractus sexcinctus

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Habitat:

Savannas, forests

Country:

Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay

Shelter:

Burrows

Life Span:

18-22 years

Size:

20 inches

Cool Facts:

  • It's shell is called a carapace, just like the shell of a turtle or tortoise 
  • They are proficient diggers and will create tunnels and burrows in which to sleep.
  • Omnivores by nature, they eat fruits, insects, some vegetables, and even small mammals.
  • Although it can hunt, its poor vision makes it difficult, hence the omnivorous diet
  • Often hunted for their meat and shells, which are used for a musical instrument called charango
  • Like most species of armadillo, it cannot roll itself into a defensive ball
  • Are often seen as pests for farmers because the armadillos will eat their crops
  • Like turtles and tortoises, they cannot take off their shells
  • Unlike turtles and tortoises, they do not have a plastron, which is a shell on the belly
  • Spends a majority of its life asleep

Details:

These mammals are in the same superorder as anteaters and sloths, animals that most would not consider dangerous. Rather than powerful weapons like claws or venom, they have evolved defensive shells on their backs made out of bone and horn. Like turtle shells, these are a living part of their bodies and armadillos cannot live without their shells. Many have been hunted for their shells, which are useful as musical instruments, but efforts to conserve them have succeeded in keeping them from becoming threatened. Many live in protected areas and musicians have turned to wood for their instruments. Like most other armadillos, the Six Banded armadillo cannot form into a ball to defend itself. Instead, it relies on burrows to retreat to, although it has been known to kill smaller animals with its shell or mouth. Although it can hunt, it relies on its sense of smell instead of its vision, making slow moving and small prey much easier. They also posses a long tongue like anteaters and use them to dig into insect burrows.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Cingulata Family: Chlamyphoridae Subfamily: Euphractinae Genus: Euphractus  Species: E. sexcinctus

Conservation & Helping:

The Six-Banded Armadillo is not currently considered a threatened species

For Teachers and Educators

Six-Banded-Armadillo-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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