Archive for November 21st, 2008

To Kick an Armadillo

Baby armadillo  - by Tom Uhlman/AP Photo

Baby armadillo - by Tom Uhlman/AP Photo


Ok, this may sound weird, but I love armadillos. They’re just so cute!! Look at the little baby.. aww.. it’s adorable.. They’re like big roly-polies (which I also love)!
I dunno.. maybe it’s because I’m Asian and it’s in our genes to love anything similar to Pokémons.
Whatever the reason, it is another factor that makes me love Austin, since it is one of the only places in the U.S. that has armadillos. The armadillo is also the state mammal of Texas.

Anyway, despite my Asian-ness, I was born in Austin, and one of my earliest memories include a memory of an armadillo that used to live by my house. I was like, 4 years old, and if I happened to wake up really really early, I could sometimes see an armadillo waddle up to this huge ant bed we had behind our house to eat ants.

armadilloMy mom later told me that armadillos can roll up into balls and protect themselves with their hard shells. Ever since then.. I just had this.. deep desire to.. just.. KICK IT!! just once. To see how hard it was, and if it could roll like a ball.
I was never allowed to fulfill this urge, and of course that has just made it worse. I’m just waiting to see my next armadillo… (just kidding. not really, but.. yeah.)

Here are some fun facts about armadillos that make them all the more cooler.

  • When startled, the armadillo can jump straight upward about three to four feet into the air. Unfortunately, many armadillos are killed when they jump into the underside of moving vehicles.
  • Armadillos can cross bodies of water in two ways. They can:
    1. inflate their stomachs and intestines with air and float across the water, or,
    2. sink down and use their sharp claws to walk across the bottom.
    They can hold their breath for six minutes or more!
  • An armadillo always bears an identical set of quadruplets, conceived from a single fertilized egg. The initial embryo divides in two and those two embryos divide, in turn, into two more. Thus every armadillo is a clone of its three brothers or its three sisters.

Bet you didn’t know that!

-Jane

The facts above were taken from Everyday Mysteries, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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