Armadillos are protected by a thick armoured carapace (a shell covering their head and back). They are found in the Americas, and are members of the Xenarthra, the group which includes sloths, anteaters and armadillos.
|Common Name||Large Hairy Armadillo|
|Scientific Name||Chaetophractus vilosus|
|Native to||South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay|
|Natural Habitats||Found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands and forests.|
|Diet||Omnivorous, eating mostly invertebrates and small animals, but taking vegetation, especially over winter.|
|Life Expectancy||20-30 years|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern (3.1)|
About our armadillos
We have a male and a female armadillo, and have successfully bred them several times.
How we care for our armadillos
Our armadillos are housed in the nocturnal zone.
Their exhibit is kept on a reverse light cycle, with red lighting and a few white light 'moonlight' spot lights during the day, and full lighting overnight.
Their enclosure has artificial rockwork to create a complex and varied environment, and they are on a substrate of sand, which they can burrow into.
The armadillos are fed a variety of fruit and vegetables, meat and live invertebrates.
How you can help armadillos
The large hairy armadillo is not threatened in the wild, as it is found in a wide area and is a very adaptable species. Other armadillos are threatened, particularly because they are hunted for their carapaces, which are used for instruments.
You can help them by:
- don't buy any products made from armadillo shells
- help to protect the natural habitat of armadillos in the wild, through land protection charities