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Armadillo (Dasypodidae)

These cute creatures in strong armor continue moving to the North

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Armadillos are medium size mammals and are quite adaptive. The main peculiarity of an armadillo is an armor-like skin, which is their primary defense from dogs, coyotes, and other predators. Hence comes the name which means “little armored one" from Spanish. They mostly feed on beetles, insects, snails, worms, and ants, but also berries and some other vegetation.

They are mainly nocturnal animals, and not so easy to come across them. The best places to spot some are near most sources of water, namely rivers, lakes, or in bushes and high grass where they search for bugs. They are excellent diggers and enjoy cooling in the mud, like pigs. They also like to cross the roads, so keep your eyes open and be ready.

Armadillos don't like cold weather; thus,​ you can usually find them from spring until autumn. In the summer, you can usually see them during warm but cloudy days. When days start to get colder you can spot an armadillo warming up in the sun. During the coldest times, they usually hide in some shelters and are rarely seen, yet it's still possible.

Originally from Mexico, armadillos appeared in Texas in the 1870s. Back then their range was restricted to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the southern tip of Texas. In 20 years afterward, the critters were found as far as Austin. Nowadays, armadillos sightings are common around Dallas, namely in Sam Houston Trails Park, at Trinity Trail north of Brockdale Park, at Greenbelt Trail, Denton, and also around Arlington. Moreover, they've spread further north beyond Texas.

Texans adopted this unique animal as their mascot. You can easily find games, candles, toys, figurines, T-shirts, jewelry, or other things decorated with armadillos images or shaped like it.

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