5 Reasons Why Armadillos Are Awesome
5 Reasons Why Armadillos Are Awesome

Armadillos are nature's goofballs! Here are five reasons why these animals will make you ROTFL.



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1. Armadillos look hilarious.


Photograph by Bianca Lavies, National Geographic Creative

Armadillos look like a mixture of a huge roly-poly, a pig, and a medieval knight—with a bit of giant insect mixed in. But they’re actually mammals, closely related to anteaters and sloths. 


2. Armadillos like the nightlife.


Photograph by Mgkuijpers, Dreamstime

These guys are mostly nocturnal. They stay inside their burrows when it’s hot and come out at dawn, dusk, or at night to look for food.

3. Armadillos turn into balls.


 Photograph by Belizar, Dreamstime

Armadillos usually aren't fighters. When threatened, the three-banded armadillo protects itself by rolling into a ball. The result looks so much like a soccer ball that the mascot of last year’s World Cup in Brazil was a three-banded armadillo named Fuleco.


4. Armadillos stick their tongues out to eat.


Photograph by Bianca Lavies, National Geographic Creative

Armadillos use their long, sticky tongues to feel around in ant nests, slurping up lots of ants at a time. A nine-banded armadillo can eat thousands of ants in one meal.  Ants may not be your favorite food, but don’t make fun of an armadillo’s snack— it might stick out that extra-long tongue at you!


5. Armadillos are likely to get into traffic jams.


Photograph by Claus Meyer, Minden Pictures

If you frighten an armadillo, it might run away to hide in the nearest burrow. But sometimes when one armadillo is trying to get into the burrow, another armadillo (or two!) is trying to get out. They get stuck!


Text by Avery Elizabeth Hurt

Adapted by Sara Zeglin, NGS Staff

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