What are some unusual facts about armadillos?


Quick Answer

One unusual fact about armadillos is that bony plates that cover the top part of their bodies, including the heads and tails are called scutes. These are modified scales and are covered with a leathery skin. The scutes overlap to give the animal more protection.

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Full Answer

Other unusual facts about armadillos are that, though they are placental mammals, the males have undescended testicles, and the females lack proper female genitalia. Instead, they have an opening that is similar to that of a bird.

Armadillos are not quite warm-blooded. Their body temperature can change depending on their surroundings.

The ribs in some armadillos also seem to be armored. Parts of the ribs that are cartilaginous in other mammals are made of bone in some armadillos.

Armadillos are born with incisors, but they disappear as the animal matures. The adult teeth are simple, peg-shaped and weak.

Because of their armor, armadillos have to mate while the female is flipped over on her back.

One genus of armadillo produces between two and 12 identical offspring from the splitting of one fertilized egg.

The nine-banded armadillo stays afloat in water by inflating its stomach and intestines.

The greater fairy armadillo has a cry that resembles the wail of a human baby.

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