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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.

About armadillos

Common NameLarge Hairy Armadillo
Scientific NameChaetophractus vilosus
Native toSouth America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay
Natural HabitatsFound in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands and forests.
DietOmnivorous, eating mostly invertebrates and small animals, but taking vegetation, especially over winter.
Life Expectancy20-30 years
Conservation StatusLeast 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