Armadillos Always Give Birth To Quadruplets

Chuck Banner | June 26th, 2018

Armadillos are pretty cool animals indeed, even more so when you find out that they always go double or nothing. When giving birth the Armadillo always has quadruplets and they are always identical. Armadillo comes from the Spanish word “Armado” which actually means armored and was the name given to them by Spanish conquistadors who first arrived in South America.

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They vary in size from 12 centimeters to a whole meter but the species that are now extinct could range up to 3 meters long and way 2 tonnes. These giant armadillos still existed at the end of the Ice Age which actually means the first humans would have met them, there is even evidence to suggest humans used their huge shells to make roofs.

All armadillos have one trait in common their bony shell which is a completed by a different plates of bone coming together, forming a rigid shield. There are flexible bands in the middle of the body that allows them to move, sometimes their head also has a protected bony shield. This makes the armadillo a hard animal to prey on and offers them great protection.

Most like in semi deserts or mountain pastures, either alone, a pair or in small groups. And they normally have a den where they sleep which are underground and sometimes up to two meters large.

But the really cool thing about armadillos is they have a unique breeding pattern, from one sole egg they always give birth to four identical twins. Armadillo litters only contain offspring of the same sex. This is because the single fertilized egg is split into four matching embryos. The belief is that this was nature’s answer to the females inability to carry more than one egg. They have also been used in genetic studies and research, making the armadillo one of the keys that could unlock genetic science.

 

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