Giant Armadillo

Taxobox
name = Giant Armadillo



image_caption=Captive giant armadillo in Colombia
status = VU
status_system = iucn3.1
trend = down
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Cingulata
familia = Dasypodidae
subfamilia = Tolypeutinae
genus = "Priodontes"
genus_authority = F. Cuvier, 1825
species = "P. maximus"
binomial = "Priodontes maximus"
binomial_authority = (Kerr, 1792)

The Giant Armadillo, also, variously, Tatou, Ocarro, Tatu-canastra or Tatú Carreta, "Priodontes maximus" is the largest living species of armadillo. It was once found widely throughout the tropical forests of eastern South America and now ranges throughout varied habitat as far south as northern Argentina. This species is considered vulnerable to extinction.

These armadillos typically weigh around 28 kg (59 lb) when fully grown, but a 32 kg (71 lb) specimen has been weighed in the wild. A typical length is 89 cm (35 in), of which a third to two-fifths is likely to be accounted for by the tail.

The Giant Armadillo prefers termites and some ants as prey, and often consumes the entire population of a termite mound. It has been known to also prey upon larger creatures, sometimes consuming small mammals such as mice and rats.Fact|date=June 2008

The Giant Armadillo was classified as Endangered (EN — A1cd) on the World Conservation Union's Red List in 2002, and is listed under Appendix I (threatened with extinction) of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

At least one zoo park in Villavicencio, Colombia -- called "Los Ocarros" -- is dedicated to this animal.

See also

* Glyptodontidae - an extinct family of huge, armadillo-like cingulate mammals.

References

* Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable
*MSW3 Gardner|pages=98

External links

* Animal Diversity Web: [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Priodontes_maximus.html Priodontes maximus: Information]
* [http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/isdb/CITES/Taxonomy/tax-species-result.cfm?Genus=Priodontes&Species=maximus&source=animals "Priodontes maximus"] from the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
* [http://www.msu.edu/~nixonjos/armadillo/priodontes.html Genus "Priodontes"]


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