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Southern Three Banded Armadillo


Southern Three Banded Armadillo Fast Facts

  • Location: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
  • Habitat: Grassland, Savannah, Forest, Scrubland
  • Lifespan: 35 Years
  • Diet: Ants, Termites
  • Length: 20 - 27cm
  • Weight: 1.0 - 1.6kg


Meet Albert! Southern three-banded armadillos are the only species of armadillos that can curl into a complete ball as a method of defense. Their body is covered in an armoured shell made out of keratin, the same substance as your fingernails! They are primarily crepuscular, mainly active at dawn and dusk, spending 16 hours a day sleeping during the hottest temperatures. They have specialised lungs to aid with breathing underground. This also helps when swimming.



Armadillos feast on ants and termites. They use their long front claws to dig into invertebrates nests and use their long, sticky tongue to lick up their prey.



Information is still lacking on the reproductive behaviour of three-banded armadillos. Births can occur throughout the year, with females giving birth to just one pup after a gestation of 120 days. The young are born blind a soft, lacking the protective shell of their parents. Pups develop quickly, and are independent after 72 days. The southern three-banded armadillos are sexually reproductive mature at 9-12 months of age.


Threats + Conservation

Southern three-banded armadillos are listed as NEAR THREATENED on the IUCN Red List. Their declining populations is caused by habitat destruction for farmland, alongside poaching for bushmeat, the pet trade and their shells to be made into tourist trinkets. Albert features in our bird display, acting as an ambassador species to educate the public around the tourist trinkets prosecution and the exotic pet trade.


Fun facts

1. Three-banded armadillos can hold their breath underwater for five minutes. 2. Unlike all other species of armadillos, 3 banded cannot build their own burrows, they steal them from other creatures. 3. A group is known as a fez.


Southern Three Banded Armadillo Gallery


What shall we discover next?

Bornean Budwing Stick Insect

African Spoonbill


Polynesian Tree Snail