Armadillo

Longleat Keepers Welcome Animal ‘A’ Team

 

‘A’ is for aardvark, anteater and armadillo - Keepers at Longleat are celebrating the births of their very own animal ‘A’ team.

Among the new arrivals is a baby aardvark, the first to have been born at the Wiltshire safari park.

Weighing a little more than a kilogramme at birth, the bizarre-looking calf is born without hair, has drooping ears and wrinkled skin.

Over time it develops hair, the long ears become upright and the wrinkles slowly disappear.

“This is our first ever aardvark birth so we are paying particularly close attention to how the calf is growing and checking its weight daily,” said Team Manager Catriona Carr.

PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063
PJY_4063

“Aardvark calves can be fragile in their first stages of life, and parents can sometimes be a bit clumsy so we are closely monitoring mother and baby and helping with feeding sessions until the calf has got stronger and can look after itself,” she added.

Originally from Sub-Saharan Africa, aardvarks are renowned for their tunnelling abilities and are capable of digging through a metre of soil in under 30 seconds.

The two-metre-long mammals have specially-adapted spade-like claws on their front legs which allow them to dig out up to 50,000 bugs in a single evening.

They also have tongues measuring in excess of 30cms and nostrils, which they can completely close to prevent dirt getting into their noses.

The other members of the ‘A’ Team are a baby giant anteater and a pair of six-banded armadillos.

Giant anteaters originate from Central and South America and can be found in tropical and deciduous forests.

As its name suggests the giant anteater is the largest of the anteater family and can grow to over two metres in length with tongues that extend to more than 60cm.

The new arrival is the latest success story for Longleat captive breeding programme for the species, which is officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. 

As for armadillos, the name comes from the Spanish for ‘little armoured one’ and refers to the hard, protective bands which cover their bodies and protects them from predators. This protective layer is actually made from keratin, the same material which is in our hair and nails.


Screaming Hairy Armadillo Pups at Greensboro Science Center

20200701_083829

At the Greensboro Science Center, there are two adult screaming hairy armadillos, Lenny and Rizzo. At the beginning of May, they were placed together for breeding. They were successful and two pups were born on June 19th. These adorable armadillos are the only two born in the US so far this year, an extremely rare and important achievement. The pups, Malcolm and Harriet, are already almost fully grown. They have started exploring their habitat and are enjoying their first tastes of solid food. They will not be fully weaned until they are five months old, so right now they are learning from their mama, Rizzo. When they were brought outside for enrichment, it was discovered Malcolm loves digging! He spent the majority of his time exploring this new environment. And Harriet is enamored with the Burmese star tortoises she met during this time. They have started training and are proving to be just as smart as their mother!

20200701_083829
20200701_083829



Newquay Zoo Welcomes First Armadillo of the Year

1_armadillo 6

Keepers at Newquay Zoo are currently giving round-the-clock care to a unique Six-banded Armadillo pup.

The zoo is one of only ten zoos in the UK to keep Armadillos, and this is the first pup to be born in the UK this year. Proud parents, Wallace (Dad) and Gromit (Mum), arrived at Newquay Zoo in March 2017.

Keepers at the zoo are overwhelmed by the cute new arrival. Head Keeper, Sam Harley, said, “We are delighted to have this little one - we made the decision to hand rear him to give him the best possible chance of survival. So this means round-the-clock care from the keeping team. We’ve been up through the night to bottle feed him, which can prove very tiring, but it’s all worth it!”

2_armadillo 26

3_armadillo 10

4_armadillo 11Photo Credits: Newquay Zoo

The word Armadillo means, "little armored one" in Spanish and refers to the tough plated outer shell made of bone that gives protection from predators. Fossils have been found going back to the Ice Age. Armadillos have poor eyesight but a great sense of smell and are efficient burrowers.

Species are found throughout the Americas; the Six-banded Armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) comes from South America, mainly Brazil, and is the third largest of the species.

The baby is currently being fed from a bottle of special kitten milk replacement. At just three weeks old, the baby’s eyes are firmly shut, but they will begin to open at around 25 days. When he reaches around a month of age, he will begin to eat more solid food. Over the first four weeks the baby will quadruple in weight and will then start fending for himself.

The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. Although there is a large population of Armadillos in the wild, they are often hunted for meat and for their armored shell.

Newquay Zoo is proud to be home to this exciting species; the little one will be on show to the public alongside mum and dad in the coming weeks. For more information, visit the zoo’s website at: www.newquayzoo.org.uk .

5_armadillo 2_


Screaming Hairy Armadillo Pups Are a First For National Zoo

CROPPED screaming_hairy_armadillo_pup-10
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed two Screaming Hairy Armadillo pups on August 11. The pups are the first ever born at the zoo.

CROPPED screaming_hairy_armadillo_pup-2
Screaming_hairy_armadillo_pup-9
Screaming_hairy_armadillo_pup-6
The two little ones spend all of their time in the nest, and their eyes have not yet opened. However, the bony, armor-like plates that cover their bodies are already visible, and are covered with very fine hairs. At their last weigh-in, the pups weighed between five and six ounces each. It is still too early to determine if they are male or female.

The pups’ parents, Amber and Dylan Walter, were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Screaming Hairy Armadillo Species Survival Plan. These are the first pups for both parents. Visitors will be able to see the pups at the zoo after they have grown larger and have acclimated to their enclosure.

Screaming Hairy Armadillos are native to South America and are listed as a species of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They get their name from the squealing noise they emit if they are threatened and the greater amount of hair they have compared to other Armadillo species. At less than two pounds fully grown, Screaming Hairy Armadillos are the smallest of the three species of Hairy Armadillos.

 


Downtown Aquarium-Denver Welcomes Baby Alejandro

1_20264800_10155541340960148_8699893262200612860_n

The Downtown Aquarium at Denver welcomed a new Three Banded Armadillo on July 15.

The new guy, who has been named Alejandro, was born to first-time parents Lady Gaga and Howard Caruso. At his first weigh-in, Alejandro was 62g (2.2 oz.) and 1.5 inches long.

2_20265093_10155541340930148_1042219681278425895_n

3_20264888_10155541341050148_5892821731272283078_n

4_20229122_10155541341000148_6662293227210638679_nPhoto Credits: Downtown Aquarium-Denver

The Three Banded Armadillo can roll completely into a ball to protect itself from predators and thorny vegetation. The yellow-brown sides of the carapace extend beyond the skin, giving the armadillo a space to retreat its head, legs, and tail when curling up. The armor plating that covers the body is divided into two domed shells, with three armored bands in between, joined by flexible bands of skin.

Three Banded Armadillos reach a length of about 9 to 13 inches and weigh a max of about 3 to 3.5lbs.

They are found throughout the central region of South America: Southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Northern Argentina. They prefer mountain, tropical and temperate grasslands, as well as rainforest, tropical dry forest and swamps.

In the wild, they eat primarily insects, which includes: beetle larvae, ants, and termites. They are also known to consume plants, and other small animals.

In zoos, they are primarily fed cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, wax worms, crickets, and mealworms.

The gestation period is about 120 days. The female will typically give birth to a single young (pup). Pups are about the size of a golf ball at birth. The young will nurse for 10 weeks.

5_20245697_10155541340975148_2948724981072654672_n


Baby Armadillo Drinks Milk From Tiny Dish

DSC03123

When a Southern Three-banded Armadillo pup was born at Poland’s Zoo Wroclaw one morning in May, zoo keepers kept a close eye on how the mother, Hermiona, interacted with her newborn.  By that afternoon, the staff realized that Hermiona was showing no interest in her pup and did not nurse him, so they decided to hand-rear the infant.

DSC02827
DSC02260Photo Credit: Zoo Wroclaw

The little male pup is named Spock. Getting Spock to eat was a challenge at first – he would not drink from a bottle. Keepers tried using an eye dropper at feeding time, but Spock didn’t like that, either. One day, Spock started licking milk from a tiny bowl. With practice, he is now a pro at slurping up his supper.

The zoo reports that Spock is developing well and tripled his weight by the time he was 6 weeks old. 

Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native to the southern interior of South America. They collect ants and termites on their long, sticky tongue. The shell, which is made of keratin, is the same material that human fingernails are made of.  Southern Three-banded Armadillos are one of only two types of Armadillo that can roll completely into a ball for protection.

Once Spock is mature, he will likely be moved to another zoo, where he will be an important part of the breeding program to support this species, which is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Destruction of the dry chaco habitat and its conversion to farmland are the major threats to the species.

See more photos of Spock below.

Continue reading "Baby Armadillo Drinks Milk From Tiny Dish" »


Curl Up With Pallina the Armadillo

18403793_10155113573430479_1479412469551318350_oWhen a Southern Three-banded Armadillo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo this spring, keepers selected a fitting name for the golf-ball-sized female: Pallina, which happens to be the name of the small white ball in a bocce set. 

34212086142_0768e12544_b
34211244662_824faca4a5_oPhoto Credits: DJJam Photo (1), Cassandre Crawford (2,3)

Within a month of her birth on February 28, Pallina more than quadrupled her weight – the equivalent of a seven-pound newborn human weighing 32 pounds at one month of age!

Pallina is the first offspring for parents Lil and Titan and the first Armadillo born at the zoo since 2011. 

Armadillos are known for their ability to curl into a ball, using their hard outer shell to protect their face and soft underside.  The outer “armor” is made of keratin, the same material that makes up your fingernails. Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native to South America, where they inhabit parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil and feed on a variety of insects. 

Southern Three-banded Armadillos are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Primary threats include habitat destruction as native grasslands are converted to farms. Hunting and capture for the pet trade also contribute to the Armadillos' decline.

 


Second Armadillo Birth for Edinburgh Zoo

1_16_4_26_Three_banded_armadillo_baby_JP_4

Keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to announce the birth of a Southern Three-banded Armadillo. The tiny, female, armour-plated arrival was born in the middle of April and has been named Inti by her keepers. (Pronounced ‘In-tee’, the name comes from the ancient Inca sun god, of the same name.)

Inti is only the second birth of any Armadillo species at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. In 2014 another female called Rica was also born to parents Rio and Rodar.

At two-days-old, Inti was about the size of a golf ball and weighed only 100g, but by two-weeks-old she was just a little smaller than a tennis ball. She is currently a little over three-weeks-old and is reaching the size of a baseball!

Once Inti gets a little older, she will take part in the Zoo’s daily educational show called Animal Antics, where she will help raise awareness of vital work taking place by the conservation charity Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, who own and manage Edinburgh Zoo, to help the Giant Armadillo in the Brazilian Pantanal.*

2_16_4_26_Three_banded_armadillo_baby_JP_3

3_16_4_14_Southern_three_banded_armadillo_baby_JP_4

4_16_4_14_Southern_three_banded_armadillo_baby_JP_1Photo Credit:RZSS/Jon-Paul Orsi

Sarah Wright, Animal Presentations Team Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Our new arrival is doing well, and we are all celebrating her birth, as she is only the second Armadillo to be born at the Zoo. Inti was about the size of a golf ball when she was born, but is growing quickly and is a little bundle of energy. She will grow up to play a very important role in raising awareness about the plight of Armadillos in the wild and the threats they face, as well as the vital conservation work undertaken by RZSS to help conserve the Giant Armadillo from extinction.”

Southern Three-banded Armadillos (Tolypeutes matacus) are listed as “Near threatened” on the IUCN Red List and are increasingly threatened as a result of being hunted for food, the pet trade and loss of habitat. Three-banded Armadillos are the only type of Armadillo that can roll into a ball when threatened. They get their name from the three characteristic bands on their back, which allows them the flexibility to roll into a ball. The Three-banded Armadillo is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The family of Three-banded Armadillos, at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, is not on show, but can often be seen in the daily Animals Antics shows at 12:15pm and 3pm, at the top of the hill in the Zoo.

Continue reading "Second Armadillo Birth for Edinburgh Zoo" »


Rare Armadillo Born at Longleat

1_Baby three banded armadillo on hand at Longleat PIC Ian Turner (1200x913)

A rare Southern Three-Banded Armadillo has been born at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, in the UK. Born at the end of April, Charlie, as he has been nicknamed by keepers, is only the second armadillo to be successfully reared at the Wiltshire park.

2_Baby three banded armadillo with mum at Longleat PIC Ian Turner (1200x958)

3_Baby three banded  armadillo and its mum at Longleat PIC Ian TurnerPhoto Credits: Ian Turner

Keeper Emily Randall said, “Charlie is doing really well and putting on lots of weight. When he was born he was about the size of a golf ball, and although his armour was very soft, his claws weren’t!”

Emily continued, “The Three-Banded is one of only two species of armadillo that can roll into a defensive ball, in fact it is known as the ‘ball armadillo’ in Brazil. The ears can be fully tucked into the shell, and the head and tail interlock to make an incredibly strong seal. In captivity they can be expected to live for up to 20 years.”

“Charlie’s mum, Hattie and dad, Knobbly, who is 14, have been living here at Longleat since 2012. We’re really proud of Hattie and Knobbly and the rest of the armadillo family we have had here at Longleat. Charlie will now be the third generation of the same family who has been born in the park.”

The armadillo’s diet mainly consists of ants and termites. When it detects prey, it digs a hole and puts its nose into it, using its long, sticky tongue to lap up any insects.

The defense system of the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is so effective it’s safe from the majority of predators. Adult pumas and jaguars are the only South American mammals powerful enough to be a natural threat. However, the main danger to the species is the destruction of its natural habitat to graze livestock.

The species has suffered a 30% decline in population, in the last 10 years, in its native South America. It has been classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.


Topeka Zoo “Gets ‘Round” to Announcing Armadillo Birth

1_IMG_3971

The Topeka Zoo is excited about the arrival of their newest Southern Three-Banded Armadillo. The spherically prone boy was born May 5th and is the third offspring of mom, ‘Erin’, and dad, ‘Mulligan’.

2_IMG_3999

3_IMG_3975

4_IMG_4243Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, also called the La Plata Three-Banded Armadillo, is an armadillo species from South America. It is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The species, along with the Brazilian Three-Banded Armadillo, is the only armadillo capable of rolling into a complete ball for defense and protection. The three characteristic bands that cover the back of the animal allow it enough flexibility to fit its tail and head together, allowing it to protect its underbelly, limbs, eyes, nose and ears from predators. The shell covering its body is armored and the outer layer is made out of keratin, the same protein that builds human fingernails.

The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is typically yellow or brownish in color. They are among the smaller armadillos, with a total body length of about 8.7 to 10.6 inches (22 to 27 cm) and a weight of between 2.2 and 3.5 lbs (1 and 1.6 kg).

Gestation for an armadillo lasts 60 to 120 days, depending on the species. Some species, such as the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo, will have litter sizes that range from one to eight. The young are born with soft, leathery skin, which hardens within a few weeks. They reach sexual maturity in three to 12 months, depending on species.

Continue reading "Topeka Zoo “Gets ‘Round” to Announcing Armadillo Birth " »