WILLIAM RAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILLIAM RAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). Armadillos are the only mammals which have bony plates in their skin. These jointed plates protect them from attack from predators. The nine-banded armadillo is native to South and Central America but is now found in the southern USA as far north as Texas. It lives in abandoned fields, drier forest areas and scrub. It has a cosmopolitan diet, feeding on insects, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and plants. This armadillo is also a good swimmer, gulping air in order to increase its buoyancy. Photographed in Florida, USA.
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