Screaming Hairy Armadillo

Screaming Hairy Armadillo Chaetophractus vellerosus

Type of Animal:

Desert, sand dunes, savannas, pastureland, agricultural areas, arable land, plantations, forests, shrubland, scrub forest, grasslands, scrubland, rangelands, can be found as high as 3,280 ft, needs soft soil for burrowing

SE Bolivia, W Paraguay, C N Argentina. Isolated population in E Buenos Aires province of Argentina.

Smallest of 3 hairy armadillo species, gray body armor w/ pink areas, armor covers back & head, whitish or light brown hairs on limbs/belly, 6-8 banded carapace

Insects, grubs, insect larvae, worms, lizards, amphibians, birds, rodents, fruits, roots, Prosopis seed pods, carrion, vegetation

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers


Additional Info:

Male: Boar/Lister
Female: Sow/Zed
Young: Pup
Group: Solitary

Male: 1.875 lbs
Female: 1.79 lbs
Young: 12 oz

2-2.5 months

Life Span:
4-6 years in wild, 15-16 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 1.23 ft
Female: 1.208 ft

Tail Length:
3.5-6.9 in, same for both sexes

Main predators are dogs & jaguars.
Nocturnal in summer & diurnal in winter.
Has multiple burrows within territory, each sometimes having more than 1 entrance. Territories usually 8.4 acres.
Sexually mature at 9 months old & produces 1-2 litters a year, usually w/ twins.
Though stable, it’s heavily hunted for meat & its carapace heavily sought for making charangos-stringed instrument akin to lute as well as maracas. Also killed as agricultural pest. Population in E Buenos Aires province heavily affected by mining.
Like all armadillos, they’re excellent diggers.
They don’t need to drink much since they get most water they need from food they eat.
Also called crying armadillo, small hairy armadillo, & small screaming armadillo.
Pups open eyes at 0.5-1 month old.

Fun Fact(s):
Due to catching animals in sand, some individuals have been recorded w/ having as much as 50% sand in stomach.
Can hold breath for up to 6 minutes, even while digging. Helps keep dirt out of throat/lungs.
Newborns can fit into palm of hand.
Armored carapace made of keratin-same protein making up hair/nails.
Armadillo means “little armored one” in Spanish.
Produces highly concentrated urine, enabling it to maintain water balance without drinking for long periods of time.
Screaming adjective derives from habit of squealing/screaming when handled.

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