If you have not already guessed, I am from Texas and I am also a huge fan of the state. In this state we see a lot of armadillos. Albeit, most are on the side or middle of the road and not moving too much, they are quite common in Texas.
I have seen many live ones, and they are fun harmless creatures, unless they are digging holes in your yard or teasing up your flower bed. I thought I would share this list of off beat armadillo facts for those lovers of everything Texas, including the wild animals.
1. By a Different Name – In Spanish armadillo means, "little armed one." Germans have a different word for armadillo which means "little pig." I think armadillos would take an oath to that if they only knew. I know I would. In the 1930s Americas called armadillos Hoover Hogs, as a knock on the presiding president. Some less fortunately souls had to end up eating these lovable creatures or they would have starved. They blamed the president at the time for his plan to supply jobs which, in their minds, was not working.
2. Guinea Pigs for Science – Armadillos are very cold blooded, which is not an insult on their personalities, it is just a fact. Due to this, they are used in research for leprosy, which they are granted to contract. There is very little chance of humans getting leprosy from armadillos, but armadillos are used in finding cures and understanding the disease in humans.
3. Baby Soft – Baby armadillos, much like crabs or any other hard shelled creature have soft shells for the first months of life. Similar to a human fingernail, they harden over time through a process of depositing bone under the skin to make a shell.
4. Forget Laser Teeth Whiting – Armadillos do not have enamel to protect their teeth. While humans and other mammals have several different kinds, they only have one type of teeth, peg molars. Armadillos primarily eat insects, so evolutionarily speaking growing many different types of teeth was waste of time and energy.
5. Immaculate Conception – In times of stress, mama armadillos can keep a fertilized egg from implanting, needed to grow in the womb, for up to two years. So if an armadillo is captured, it may be pregnant, but you'll never know. Unless you keep if for two years, or it "makes itself at home." Elephants are the only other mammal that can hold unborn babies that long.
6. Gift fit for a King – In 1728, The King of England, George II, was given an armadillo as a present. He called it an "Indian Monster" and brave it hard boiled eggs to eat, which it happily accepted.
Need more armadillo facts? Go here for Six Odd Facts about Armadillos [http://www.atexasstateofmind.com/wst_page19.php]. Feel free to use this list in research for reports, or just an interesting email forward for your friends and family. All that we ask is a link back to the site for our armadillo drawing and coloring contest for kids.