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armadillo

An armadillo is a four-legged animal with a rounded body that's covered in hard plates. You're most likely to see an armadillo in South or Central America, or possibly in the southern US.

Armadillos range from the size of a chipmunk to as big as a large dog. They're nocturnal, so they mostly hunt for food at night and sleep during the day, and are excellent diggers, with very sharp claws. Armadillos are distinctive because of the bony plates that cover them and their protective habit of rolling into a ball. Armadillo is Spanish, the diminutive form of armado, or "armored."

Definitions of armadillo
  1. noun
    burrowing chiefly nocturnal mammal with body covered with strong horny plates
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    types:
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    Dasypus novemcinctus, Texas armadillo, nine-banded armadillo, peba
    having nine hinged bands of bony plates; ranges from Texas to Paraguay
    Tolypeutes tricinctus, apar, three-banded armadillo
    South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates
    Cabassous unicinctus, cabassous, tatouay
    naked-tailed armadillo of tropical South America
    Euphractus sexcinctus, peludo, poyou
    Argentine armadillo with six movable bands and hairy underparts
    Priodontes giganteus, giant armadillo, tatou, tatu
    about three feet long exclusive of tail
    Chlamyphorus truncatus, chlamyphore, fairy armadillo, pichiciago, pichiciego
    very small Argentine armadillo with pale silky hair and pink plates on head and neck
    Burmeisteria retusa, greater pichiciego
    of southern South America
    type of:
    edentate
    primitive terrestrial mammal with few if any teeth; of tropical Central America and South America
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