What do armadillos eat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What do armadillos eat?” and provide information on how armadillos hunt, what armadillos hunt in the wild, what armadillos consume in the zoo, what baby armadillos eat as well as facts on food habits of armadillos.

What do armadillos eat?

Armadillos eat grubs, termites, amphibians, and cockroaches. They consume both plants with animal matter. However, the majority of their diet comprises insects. Usually, the armadillos would prefer live prey. However, there are incidences of armadillos preying on dead bodies too.

Armadillos can eat both plant and animal matter. Some of the commonly consumed foods of armadillos would include invertebrates, grubs, insects, reptiles, mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, seeds, amphibians, and eggs.

How do armadillos hunt?

Armadillos usually depend on their senses to check for food. Armadillos do not have good eyesight. As a result, they have to rely on their other senses to hunt. Armadillos hunt during the night. 

Usually, the sense of smell can be used for the purpose of hunting. Armadillos have such a strong sense of smell that they can sense prey that is 8 inches below the ground.

Usually, the armadillos have strong hearing abilities apart from the sense of smell. On the underside of the armadillos, there are hairs present. These hairs would help the armadillos to detect their environment and also help in locating their prey.

Armadillos are also expert diggers. They use their claws to dig through the ground. The claws present in the armadillos can help in digging through the ground. The teeth of the armadillos are also sharp. 

The tongues of armadillos are sticky too. This means that once the insects go into the armadillo’s mouth, they cannot escape because of the tongue’s stickiness.

What do armadillos hunt in the wild?

In the wild, armadillos are not choosy and they would consume whatever comes their way. They are particularly picky.

Some of the commonly consumed foods would include insects, ants, termites, beetles, wasps, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. It can also eat spiders and scorpions. It consumes the eggs of birds and certain reptiles too. This would include the eggs of snakes and frogs too.

Armadillos can feast on dead animal matter too though it is rare. However, armadillos are not choosy when it comes to eating and would eat whatever comes their way.

What do armadillos in zoos consume?

Armadillos are kept in zoos and many habitats. They mostly consume insects. Some of the insects consumed by the armadillos would include insects like grasshoppers, beetles, or grubs. They also consume ants and termites.

Some of the armadillos would consume a lot of fruits as well. Giant armadillos and pink fairy armadillos primarily consume ants or termites. However, the appetite for armadillo is quite high. A lot of insects would be required to keep them full.

What do baby armadillos eat?

Baby armadillos would consume milk from their mother. This would go for 2-4 months. However, depending on the species of the armadillos the time taken for nursing can vary. 

Once the pup grows old, the food consumed would be similar to that of an adult armadillo. Around 9 to 12 months, the baby armadillos would become mature and consume the same foods as the adults.

What are the facts related to the food habits of armadillos?

  • Armadillos use their claws to dig the burrows and find insects.
  • Armadillos usually consume insects. However, there are instances in which they consume snakes too though it is rare.
  • The sticky tongue and claws of the armadillos can help them in taking their prey out of tunnels.
  • The diet of the armadillos would vary depending on the species of the armadillos. For instance, the Southern long-nosed armadillo would consume insects, fruits, and dead matter whereas the Southern three-banded armadillo would consume only ants and termites.
  • Nine-banded armadillos contain small mammals too apart from insects. They feed on insects, reptiles, reptile eggs, termites, earthworms, and ants. Sometimes, fruits and seeds can be consumed as well. 
  • Usually, the armadillos would consume when the sky is cloudy or when it is dark during the night. Six-banded armadillo is diurnal in nature.
  • The time spent on feeding themselves would differ. Armadillos usually sleep 16 hours and spend the rest of their hours searching for food.
  • Though armadillos rarely consume plant matter, pink fairy armadillos would feed on plant matter in case of food scarcity. Pink fairy armadillos would be usually found near the sandy plains and grasslands.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What do armadillos eat?” and provided information on how armadillos hunt, what armadillos hunt in the wild, what armadillos consume in the zoo, what baby armadillos eat as well as facts on food habits of armadillos.

Reference

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