The armadillo has a protective armor of “horny” material on its head, body and tail. This bony armor has nine movable rings between the shoulder and hip shield. The head is small with a long, narrow, piglike snout. The armadillo is about the size of an opossum, weighing from 8 to 17 pounds (3.5 to 8 kg).
The armadillo ranges from south Texas to the southeastern tip of New Mexico, through Oklahoma, the southeastern corner of Kansas and the southwestern corner of Missouri, most of Arkansas and southwestern Mississippi. The range also includes southern Alabama, Georgia and most of Florida.
The armadillo prefers dense, shady cover such as brush, woodlands, forests and areas adjacent to creeks and rivers. It prefers sandy or loam soils that are loose and porous, b will also inhabit areas having cracks, crevices, and rocks that are suitable for burrows.
Most armadillo damage occurs as a result of their rooting in lawns, golf courses, vegetable gardens and flower beds. Characteristic signs of armadillo activity are shallow holes, 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) deep and 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 cm) wide, when they dig for food. They also uproot flowers and other ornamental plants. They may also burrow under foundations, driveways and other structures and rub their shells against houses or other structures.
The main armadillo problem is that disease is a factor associated with this species. Armadillos can be infected by the bacterium that causes leprosy. They may pose a potential risk for humans, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, but no cases have been reported.
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