Chaetophractus villosus inhabits northern Paraguay and southern Bolivia to central Argentina (Nowak, 1999).
Chaetophractus villosus is best adapted to open, semidesert environments.
Armadillos have a double layer of horn and bone over the majority of their dorsal side. This protective layer consists of bands and plates which are surrounded by flexible skin (Nowak, 1999). A small shield on the head protects the ears and back of the neck. The carapace protects the shoulders, back and side of the body and consists of approximately 18 bands, 7 to 8 of which are movable (Nowak, 1999). The ventral area is covered by soft skin. Hair extends from between the scales and also covers this soft ventral skin. The skin is brown to pinkish in color and the hair is grayish brown to white (Nowak, 1999). The skulls of C. villosus are flattened dorsoventrally and have peglike teeth, which are evergrowing (Nowak, 1999).
Mating takes place in September and gestation lasts for 60 to 75 days (Nowak, 1999). There is more than one litter per year. Litters are generally composed of two young (Nixon, 2001).
At birth C. villosus weighs 155 g. Young open their eyes at 16-30 days (Nixon, 2001). Chaetophractus villosus is born with a soft, leathery skin which hardens with age (Nowak, 1999). The hairy armadillo is weaned 50 to 60 days after birth and is sexually mature at nine months of age (Nowak, 1999).
The maximum lifespan of a captive hairy armadillo is 30 years (Nixon, 2001).
Chaetophractus villosus burrows to escape predation, to search for food, and to decrease body temperature on hot desert days (Casanave, 1995). They become more nocturnal during summer to avoid heat (Nixon, 2001).
Chaetophractus villosus is an omnivore that feeds on insects, invertebrates, small vertebrates, plants and carrion (Nowak, 1999). The hairy armadillo burrows under carcasses to obtain maggots and grubs. During the winter over half its food consumption consists of vegetation (Nowak, 1999). However, the majority of the year they feed on a variety of small vertebrates, rodents, lizards, etc. (Nixon, 2001).
The hairy armadillo is an efficient burrower, which helps it escape predators (Nowak, 1999). C. villosus is preyed upon most often by canines, aves, and humans (Nixon, 2001). When threatened, the armadillo draws its feet under its body and flattens its body to the ground, leaving only its armor exposed.
Chaetophractus villosus is hunted for food by humans.
Chaetophractus villosus burrow extensively and can cause damage to crops (Nowak, 1999).
Sarah Abbott (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ondrej Podlaha (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
flesh of dead animals.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
breeding takes place throughout the year
Casanave, E. 1995. Decrease in Body Temperature in Armadillos Experimentally covered by Soil. *Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry*, 103(1): 29-32.
Nixon, J. "Hairy Armadillos: Three Species" (On-line). Accessed November 20,2001 at http://www.msu.edu/~nixonjos/armadillo/index.html?http://www.msu.edu/~nixonjos/armadillo/chaetophractus.html.
Nowak, R. 1999. *Walker's Mammals of the World*. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.