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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27 Responses to “To Kick an Armadillo”


  1. 1 Caitlin W November 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    These were great facts!! I had no idea armadillos could do so much cool stuff. Inflating intestines/holding breath. . .I love that one creature can have a sort of paradox inside of it:-P I’m not gonna lie, though – I hope you don’t meet one, I’m a little afraid it will become a soccer ball!!

  2. 2 jeffbechdel November 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Wow. Truly amazing facts! haha, I’ve sort of been disappointed by armadillos since coming to Austin. Namely… the fact that I haven’t ever seen one. I guess maybe I need more Austin wildlife experiences… There’s a topic for a post, if anyone wants it! By the way, the Pokemon comment got me laughing out loud in the PCL… sort of embarrassing, but worth it.

  3. 3 Briana C November 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Girl,
    this was very weird and quirky… just like Austin, haha. I couldn’t stop reading as much as I wanted to. Armadillos gross me out… mostly for the very same reasons why you love them. Ew. And I could never get close enough to one to kick it! haha
    -bri

  4. 4 Armand Robert James Guno February 22, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    found this through google, and was worth the search.
    really interesting facts.
    i can now say i rate armadillos highly.
    i want to know more facts 🙂

  5. 5 Christine March 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Also, armadillos can carry leprosy. It’s completely true.

  6. 6 Alice June 5, 2009 at 6:29 am

    The part about leprosy is true. what is not true, is that Texas is the only state with armadillos. Louisiana has lots of them, unless they are being airlifted out onto my lawn. They dig holes in the lawn at night, and I catch them at it often enough.

  7. 7 Armand Robert James Guno July 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    crikey would never have guessed they’d carry leprosy. how bizarre. haha can now imagine helicopters carrying armadillos. what a site that would be. the only thing i can see in my garden are foxes and the odd badger. oh yes, and cats. but theres been wild birds that escaped from bird world. perhaps an armadillo will get dropped off here in surrey!

  8. 8 ahughes August 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Austin is not only place to have armadillos, not by a longshot. You will find them splattered all over the road from Georgia to New Mexico, and all over northern Mexico.
    You might also be surprised, and saddened, to learn that people who actually see armadillos frequently dislike them. They have a nasty habit of digging up your yard and being hard to get rid of.
    but the little ones are cute, aren’t they?

  9. 9 Barbara September 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I HATE THEM!!!! THEY ARE DOING A BIG BUT BIG IN MY YARD!!! I DONT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO!!!! GET OUT OF HERE
    !!!!!!

  10. 10 Maria November 8, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I’ve been doing some reading on Armadillos and found that the only species that can actually roll itself in a ball is the Three-banded Armadillo. I found that interesting because I thought all armadillos could roll themselves into a ball. But, it turns out that all but the Three-banded are too heavily armored to be that flexible.

  11. 11 Texas Born and bred February 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the armadillo that can curl up into a ball (in your photo) is a South American Armadillo, the ones in Texas can’t do that, it’s really cool though. So you’ll never get to punt an armadillo unless you go to South America, I’ve seen lots of armadillos, 2 hours south of Austin, but like most wildlife, they don’t really live much in the city, and they are mostly nocturnal, so they tend to be shuffling around in the dark, or early morning.

  12. 12 Elizabeth March 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    We live in Georgia (by Savannah)and have discovered an armidillo that has burrowed under our garage. We watched it pulling pine needles and leaves and such into it’s burrow and wondered if it was making a nest to have babies? I found information on breeding and gestation and stuff but nothing on if they make nests and if so, what do they make them with. Do they do this right before giving birth? Or do they do this all the time? Are they protective parents? Do both parents care for the young or only the mother? If anyone knows this information and any other “babie” related info and pictures, would you please post where I can find this info. Thank you.

  13. 13 It's Just Me March 12, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I live in Florida and my apartment complex has a live-in armadillo! I’ve only been lucky enough to see him…or her…a couple of times though. However, there are at least 3 more living within a 1 mile stretch in front of my complex. I’m sure to beep at them as I drive by and snap a picture when I can =) I love ’em!!

  14. 14 Paige March 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    hahaha, this article is awesome. I’m also asian so I totally know what you mean and thought that pokemon comment was fuckin hilarious. armadillos are pretty cool, i wish they lived in connecticut…

  15. 15 2good4u April 11, 2010 at 11:09 am

    i have a pet armadillo,it is so cute.

  16. 16 Elizabeth April 12, 2010 at 8:41 am

    TO 2 GOOD 2B TRUE:
    Really? You have a pet armadillo? That is so cool! How did you get him? Do you have any pictures of him you could share? You can email me if you’d like to send pix- not sure if you can post pix on here as I’m not very good with this stuff 🙂 My email address is scorpwillsting@yahoo.com Hope to hear and see some pix in the near future. Thank you.

  17. 17 Elizabeth April 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

    oops- 2GOOD4U was who I meant to address last post to 🙂

  18. 18 Clare April 19, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Those are awsome armadillo facts! I’ve always thought armadillos were so cute, but I never knew how talented they were! Jumping, floating, walking under water.. what a neat little animal : ) However, being a supporter of animal welfare, I urge you please.. don’t kick an armadillo when it’s in a ball. As tempting as it may be, you don’t want to by chance hurt the little one and cause it pain or injury.

    Other than that, awsome post! It was very entertaining and informative : ) Cuuuuute armadillo pics. ❤ Armadillos!

  19. 19 bob April 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I saw one at Disney World at 6 o’clock in the morning

  20. 20 Bob April 23, 2010 at 8:11 am

    i am doing a poem on them. this site was very helpful . .
    ‘-‘

  21. 21 letycia May 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    thats soooooo cute i wish i could curl up in a ball like that.i wish i had one 4 a pet but milwaukee wisconsin is not the place its really cold here.

  22. 22 Shirley Lindsey May 28, 2010 at 5:37 am

    If only I had a buck for each time I came to lovehateaustin.wordpress.com… Great read!

  23. 23 MARIO June 12, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    HOLA SALUDOSSS
    MUY LINDA
    LA IMAGEN AMM Y POR CIERTO ME GUSTARIA OBTENER INFORMACION SOBRE
    LOS ARMADILLOS
    LO K PASA ES K TENGO UNO EN CASA K LO ENCONTRE EN EL FONDO DE UN BARRANCO Y LA VERDAD NO SE SI SE CURARA DE SU PIERNA TRASERA YA K LA TIENE FRACTURADA

    ESPERO
    PODER TENER ESA INFORMACION

    GX

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