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Armadillos are solitary creatures that seek companions only during the mating season. After mating, female armadillos can suspend their pregnancy for up to two years. Another reproductive peculiarity of armadillos that has caught the attention of geneticists is the ability to produce multiple births from a single fertilized egg: depending on the species, 4, 8, or 12 genetically identical offspring may be produced.

Young armadillos are born in nest chambers within a burrow. At birth, the young are pink and have a soft, leathery skin. This soft skin hardens within a few weeks. Young armadillos stay close to their mother for about two weeks before striking out on their own.



Gould, Edwin, and Gregory McKay, eds. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. 2nd ed. New York: Academic Press, 1998.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.


Schueler, Donald G. "Armadillos Make Me Smile a Lot." Audubon (July 1988): 73.

Storrs, Elanor. "I'll Think about That Tomorrow." Discover (16 February 1990): 16.

Watson, Jim. "Rising Star." National Wildlife (October/November 1989): 47.

Dennis Holley


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—The natural range or area inhabited by a species or group of organisms.


—A layer of decaying matter on the floor of a forest.


—Treeless plains of South America, especially those of Argentina.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Anticolonialism in Southeast Asia - Categories And Features Of Anticolonialism to Ascorbic acidArmadillos - Distribution And Habitat, Physical Appearance, Feeding And Defense, Reproduction