Merritt Island, Florida
Photograph - Photography
While walking throught the Enchanted Forest in central Florida a few days ago, this funny creature crossed my path. I stood very still, so as not to frighten him. He was snuffling around the leaf litter on the ground. He intently searched through the leaves. It was a brief moment before he disappeared into the forest. The nine-banded armadillo is the size if a large house cat. It has a gray to brownish-gray body that is 15-17 inches long. Its tail tail is about 14-16 inches long. It has scaly plates called scutes. They cover its head, body and tail. The plates on its shoulders and rumps are large. There are nine (sometimes fewer) narrow, jointed armor bands on its midsection that let it bend. It has a small, pointed head with a long snout; peg-like teeth and large, pointed ears. Its front feet have large, thick, sharp claws that help it dig and burrow. Its underparts are soft. Although is is covered in armor, it does have a little fur on its body. With so little fur, the nine-banded armadillo is very sensitive to temperature. In the winter it is usually active during the warmest part of the day. In the summer it is active at night when it is cooler. If temperatures drop too low, the armadillo can die.
May 5th, 2013
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