What Is an Armadillo's Defensive Adaptation?

The armadillo's primary defensive adaptation is its outer armor, which is made of horn and bone. Armadillos also use camouflage to blend into their environment, and one variety can roll up into a ball to protect its softer underside.

The armadillo's shell consists of bands of hard bone, which maximizes the protective function while allowing the armadillo to stay flexible and move normally. Although there are 20 different varieties of armadillo, only the three-banded armadillo can roll up into a ball.

Most armadillos are a greenish-brown color, which acts as camouflage. They can easily blend into their surroundings by staying still. Armadillos dig burrows to live in, which helps keep them safe from predators during their long periods of rest. They may spend 16 hours a day in their burrows. Even when they are not near their home burrows, they may use their digging skills to elude predators by rapidly tunneling underground where a larger predator cannot follow.

Armadillos move slowly most of the time, but they are capable of moving quickly when they are being chased by a predator. When threatened, armadillos often flee into thorny thickets or other prickly plants. Their armor keeps them safe from the thorns, but their predators are often unable to follow them.