Nine-Banded Armadillo

Nine-Banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus

Armadillos are prehistoric-looking animals that belong to a family of mammals found primarily in Central and South America. The earliest fossil ancestor of our North American armadillo occurred about 60 million years ago; it was as large as a rhinoceros. Our present-day nine-banded or long-nosed armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is much smaller; adults normally weigh from 8–17 pounds. Armadillos were not always present in Florida. During the past century, they expanded their range from Texas into the Florida panhandle. From 1920 to about 1970, there were several introductions of armadillos into the Atlantic coast region of Florida. Then the panhandle and peninsular populations expanded until they merged. Armadillos are now found in uplands throughout Florida, except in the Keys and parts of the Everglades and Big Cypress swamp. (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw082)

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