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Southern three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus)

Southern three-banded armadillo

Personal information
Doug, or "The Dude" was born in 2005 and came to the Zoo in 2010.

Status in the wild
Many species of armadillo are endangered or threatened in the wild. Human encroachment, slash-and-burn farming and hunting account for a large percentage of the problem.

The armadillo can be found in grassy or marshy areas between scattered forests. They can be found in eastern and central Bolivia, Paraguay, the Mato Grasso of Central Brazil and northern and central Argentina.

Mainly beetle larvae, although ants and termites are an important portion of their diet during the dry season. During the wet season they feed on a significant amount of fruit.
  • Because of its ability to roll into a sphere, this animal is often called bolita ("little ball" in Spanish). They are the only armadillo able to roll into a ball.
  • Armadillos also like to swim and they are very good at it!
  • This armadillo has suffered a 30% decline in the last decade.
  • Their teeth are small and peg-like and are designed only for crushing the exoskeletons of insects.
  • Long, hard nails are designed to break through anthills and termite mounds.