Thursday, May 8, 2014
Armadillo Mud Bath
Fellow naturalist Linda Bower sent me this video of an armadillo taking a mud bath. I wasn't aware of this behavior but it turns out to be common, possibly a way of cooling off . I wonder if it could be a way of controlling bug pests, as I doubt that a 'dilla' can scratch where it itches most of the time.
You might not think about armadillos as aquatic but they are able to cross rivers and streams by two methods. They can cross small streams by holding their breath for 3-4 minutes as they walk on the bottom. They are also able to swim by dog-paddling with their little feet. To stay afloat they can swallow air making them more buoyant. The question of whether they ever burp doesn't seem to have been studied.
Linda Bower's game cameras are always running. You can see her 70+ Youtube videos here.
There is information of the advancing tide of armadillos at this site.
A general overview of Armadillo's is at armadillo-online.org.
For more detailed information on mud bathing and other behaviors go to The Nine-Banded Armadillo: A Natural History By Colleen M. McDonough, W. J. Loughry