Monday, September 7, 2009

A Rare Sight .....

..... a live armadillo! This is rare for a couple of reasons. One is that he (or she) was in our large grassy area, about 100 yards from the ravine. I had never seen one back there but always suspected they were in the woods. This one came quite close to our fenced-in area. Just wandering around in the open.

(Apologies for the fuzziness of the photo. I grabbed the camera and started shooting without getting the proper lens and settings. Also it was toward dusk. Also, I was on the cell phone and the Canon 40D is not a one-handed instrument. Please, don't talk and shoot!)
The other reason this is a rare photo is that, as many people will attest to, most of the armadillos we see are, uh, road kill. Sad but true. As I was researching why this little fellow might have approached to near the house (and 4 dogs) I found an interesting tidbit of info that explains the common sightings of victims on the road. Here from
"Another behavior that has been a fatal one for the nine-banded armadillo is the ability to jump 3-4 feet vertically into the air when it is startled (Wilson, 1997). In the southeastern portion of the U.S., automobiles are constantly killing nine-banded armadillos. At first it was thought that the tires or the front of the car was impacting these armadillos, which do not look both ways before they cross a road. Later it was observed that when an automobile drove over an armadillo, it would be startled and would end up jumping vertically against the car (Storrs, 1982). "

I just hope I never hit one. It would not be the only one jumping 3-4 feet into the air!

So, this little critter waddled back down into the woods, safe another day from motor vehicles.

Thanks for indulging me this little biology lesson. I still get excited seeing these wild creatures in our back yard.


In God We Trust

1 comment:

me said...

would you believe that I thought these guys were an Aussie animal?

lucky you!!!!