What Do Armadillos Eat?
Posted In: Mammals.
Armadillos are animals that originated from South America. They are mammals just like us, humans. Their closest living relatives are sloths and they are not related to possums. They can’t survive in cold temperatures, therefore they inhabit places where it is mostly hot. Considered a delicacy in South America, they are hunted for their meat, making them an endangered species.
They are considered as a pest
Armadillos are not very popular among farmers, who specifically dislike them for causing a lot of damage in their gardens and lawns. On the other hand many creatures benefit from the holes they dig. Of course these poor animals are only in search of food, but they end up digging up the lawns of people. They eat many bugs that can destroy one’s garden plant, which makes them quite useful from this point of view, so it’s not all bad.
Armadillos eat ants
The armadillo’s diet can differ by species, but they mostly eat insects and small bugs. There are particular ant eating species and they mostly dig in soft grounds, mostly near rivers, or trees. They also eat dangerous insects like scorpions and venomous spiders too. Sometimes they resort to eating berries and roots, but that happens quite rarely, since 90% of their food consists of insects and their larvae.
Very good diggers
Being very good diggers, their claws are extremely efficient when searching for food in the ground. Some armadillos prefer to build their burrows near streams, so they can have access to their food much easier, while other species of armadillos just eat ants and basically do nothing else. Armadillos, all species in fact, simply adore eating, and spend most of their time eating or searching for food. Their eyesight is not very developed, but they have a strong sense of smell. They can smell their prey from a certain distance, then stop abruptly and start digging aggressively, at this point there is nothing stopping them from getting to their prey.
They hunt purely on their sense of smell
Armadillos are totally reliant on their sense of smell, occasionally searching in narrow burrows and dens, looking for some tasty meal. They never search without success, since they are almost sure that there is something in there and they are able to smell their prey from 20 cm under the ground.
Armadillos can hold their breath for approximately six minutes, which can be useful when digging up ants and other insects, since they don’t breathe in the dirt. Another thing that makes insect eating a lot faster and easier is their long, sticky tongue, which does the trick.
Their favorite habitat
Armadillos can’t survive in places where the ground is too hard. They dig to search for food and if they can’t do that they will simply starve. In order to survive, they need a place where it is sunny and warm and the ground is soft so they can search for food.