In the United States the sole resident armadillo is the nine banded armadillo.Their range is as far east as South Carolina and Florida, and as far north as North Dakota, but is most common in the central southernmost states particularly Texas. The armadillo, in fact, is the state small mammal of Texas.Their life span is usually 12 to 15 years. Their armor-like skin appears to be their main defense, However, many armadillos escape predators by fleeing (often into thorny patches, from which their armor protects them) or digging to safety. The armadillo’s armor plating is made up of actual bones, making them rather inflexible. Their diet consists of insects, small animals, bird eggs, and roots.They can eat 40,000 ants in one feeding and are one of the few animals to consume fire ants.Armadillos use their claws for digging, and finding food, as well as for making their homes in burrows.
Armadillos have poor vision. They are good swimmers and can even hold their breath for up to six minutes. Armadillos have delayed implantation, and after mating in July the fertilized egg remains dormant until November. This single egg then divides into genetically identical quadruplets that are born four months later. The kits are born fully developed and it will take several weeks for their pink leathery skin to be ossified into armor.