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ARMADILLOS

     The number of teeth in armadillos varies from 7-9 in Dasypus to 25 in Priodontes.  None possess teeth in the premaxillary bone (except a pair of teeth in the genus Euphractus). The number of sacral vertebrae varies in edentates from 4-6 in anteaters and 7-13 in armadillos (with 17 known in extinct glyptodonts).  This variation results from caudal vertebrae (and in some, one lumbar vertebrae) into the sacrum (Rose, from Szalay, 1993).  Both ends of the lower leg bones are fused to each other.  In Dasypus, the pterygoid bones form part of the hard palate.  Armadillos feed on a variety of food items including plants, insects and carrion.  Their powerful claws can be used in defense and in digging burrows.  In most armadillos, multiple offspring (as many as 12) develop from the splitting of a single ova (polyembryony). 

     Armadillos possess bones in their skin which typically form five shields (cephalic, scapular, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal).  These bony scutes are covered by a horny epidermal scales.  

armadillo

armadillo

skull

skull

armadillo

 

armadillo

skull

armadillo

skull

armadillo

armadillo

skull

armadillo

armadillo

skull

armadillo
armadillo armadillo
armadillo skull

armadillo

skull

armadillo
   
fossil armadillo

     The first edentates to migrate to South America evolved into a great diversity of species which were unique there.  The edentates included armadillos and anteaters.  The giant armadillo Glyptotherium had a skeleton 2.5 meters long and possessed a tail club.

fossil armadillo