Armadillos | Cingulata
Armadillos or Cingulata are nocturnal animals endemic to Central and South America. Most are insectivorous, but others are omnivorous. Their brain is small, long and cylindrical, and with ring-shaped tympanic bones. The most obvious feature is the bony armor covering the back, legs, tail, and head. Armadillos are the only living mammals with shells. Another important feature is the small eyes and shovel-shaped snout. They prefer a warm habitat of grassland, rainforest, and semi-desert. These animals have sturdy legs and huge front claws for burrowing. Female Armadillos mostly give birth to quadruplets.
The armadillo shell is made of bone and tough tissues, so it is not bulletproof and neither is it unbreakable, but just something to protect the animal from predators and spikes from thorny undergrowth. The thickness and size of the shells vary from one animal to another. What is good about this shell is that it is not heavy as the animal can still run at a speed of 30 miles per hour.
It is true that the eyesight of the Armadillo isn’t well-developed. As a result, it relies a lot on the ears and nose to find food and perceive what is happening in its environment. The poor fuzzy colorless vision is because the eyes lack cones, a light-detecting cell. As a result, they are primarily nocturnal.
Jaguars, wolves, bears, bobcats, and even coyotes prey upon armadillos. To protect themselves, they run quickly or burrow into their dens. The three-banded armadillo is luckier, as it can curl its head and back feet into its shell to confuse predators. Armadillos may also use their strong and huge front claws to fight off predators.