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Armadillos: Dasypodidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Armadillos are usually crepuscular (kri-PUS-kyuh-lur), active at dawn and dusk, and nocturnal, active at night. Some species are active during the day, and many species look for food during the day when the weather is colder.

Armadillos are solitary, staying alone until they mate. Armadillos are thought to be polygamous (puh-LIH-gah-mus), having more than one mating partner. After mating, the male leaves, and the female raises the young. Females bear from two to twelve pups, depending on the species.


People in Texas have seen nine-banded armadillos playing in shallow water. However, armadillos can do more than splash and take mud baths. Armadillos can swim across a body of water or walk underneath water. Armadillos swim by taking in air to inflate their stomachs. Then they float while paddling with their paws. In addition, armadillos can sink and remain on the ground below water for six to ten minutes.

Predators that hunt armadillos include jaguars, wolves, wild dogs, and alligators. As a defense, the armadillo burrows and curls up so that little of its soft flesh is exposed. The three-banded armadillo can roll itself into a ball.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsArmadillos: Dasypodidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Armadillos And People, Conservation Status, Nine-banded Armadillo (dasypus Novemcinctus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET