Armadillos On The Move
There are 20 known species of armadillo. The nine-banded armadillo is the only adventurous one so that is what you find in the United States. They are considered to be warm weather animals so it was thought that they would not move too far.
They are seen as far east as South Carolina. They have been spotted in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Apparently, even though they need warm weather, they are learning to survive cooler temperatures. It is believed that they probably hide in burrows for short periods of time even though they do not hibernate.
There has been some evidence of foraging in leaves under the snow. Armadillos are omnivorous. They eat plants, insects, grubs, and even small nesting animals. The immediate impact on the new environments is unknown. The armadillos will be competing for food with other foraging animals such as skunks. They may also help rid us of some pesky insects.
Armadillos begin mating at about 1 year of age. The size of the litter is 4. Their armor protects them from predators but not the weather.
The armadillo has a sparse covering of hair on its underside. Its back is covered by a carapace or back shield. This is what protects them from the predators that normally feast on animals of the same size.
So if you see a little tank with legs scooting across the road, take another look. It is probably an armadillo.