Thursday, November 2, 2017

Strike up the Band(s) -

One of North Americas most interesting mammals is the Nine-Banded Armadillo. Restricted in the US to southern and southeastern states, many folks have never seen one of these unique critters in the wild. As we explored the 3/4 mile Island Trail here at Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Teri spotted this fellow rooting around in the brush.

Armadillos are the only North American mammal protected by bony plates. Their mid-section is crossed by a series of nine narrow bands that give it some flexibility, allowing it to curl into a ball if threatened.

They have rather poor eyesight, and if you remain quiet they will sometimes shuffle and snuffle their way right up to your feet. They do have a well developed sense of smell, and can sometimes be seen with their head raised, sniffing the air. 

This one got very close to us, but light was fading fast and we had to move on to finish our hike while we could still see. Click on the picture and count the central plates. Is the name correct?

We've since seen a couple of more Armadillos around the park, and look forward to seeing many more.



  1. I've not seen an armadillo before - it will go on my list along with a cougar and bobcat. I was excited to see the javelina last winter.

    1. Gosh - I've seen them all my life! I never thought about them not being all over the place.
      Come on down to Texas - we'll show you one, or two, or three...

  2. Just like Serene, I haven't seen one either. The first nine years of my life were spent in Oklahoma and Texas, so I'm not sure why I never had the pleasure. I saw a lot of roadkill though.

    1. As a boy my friends and I used to chase them around and try to catch them. To be honest I never tried too hard, because I wasn't sure what we would do if successful. They have claws and stuff!!