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Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Giant Armadillo (Priodontes Maximus), colloquially Tatou, Ocarro, Tatu Canasta or Tatu Carreta, is the largest living species of armadillo. It was once found widely throughout the tropical forests of eastern South America and now ranges throughout varied habitat as far south as northern Argentina. This species is considered vulnerable to extinction. It is believed that it has been on Earth since prehistoric times.
These armadillos typically weigh around 28 kilograms or 62 pounds when fully grown, but a 32 kilograms or 71 pounds specimen has been weighed in the wild. A typical length is 89 cm or 35 inches, of which a third to two-fifths is likely to be accounted for by the tail.
The Giant Armadillo prefers termites and some ants as prey, and often consumes the entire population of a termite mound. It has been known to also prey upon larger creatures, sometimes consuming small mammals such as mice and rats.
The Giant Armadillo was classified as Endangered on the World Conservation Union Red List in 2002, and is listed under Appendix 1 (threatened with extinction) of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
At least one Zoo Park in Villavicencio, Colombia -called Los Ocarros- is dedicated to this animal.
Taxonomy and Nomenclature.
Taxonomy Rank: Species
Synonym: Priodontes Giganteus
Common Name: Giant Armadillo
Order: Cingulata/ Edentata
Species: Priodontes Maximus or Giant Armadillo.
Distribution: South America like in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.
Habitat: Tropical forest and open savanna.
Behavior: Fossorial and nocturnal. Digs its burrows in open fields and termite mounds. It also eats ants, worms, spiders, small dead animals and other insects.
Reproductive Biology: Females give birth to one or two young per litter per year.
CONSERVATION STATUS: Listed as Endangered because of overexploitation and loss of habitat.
I hope and pray that this beautiful animal will stay in our world.
It looks so pretty to me!!