Monday, April 1, 2024


 Armadillos are known as opossum on the halfshell. 

Nine-banded Armadillo, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas claims the armadillo as the state's small mammal. You are free to hunt them during small animal hunting season in Texas. The nine banded armadillo spread from South America until it reached Texas about 100 years ago. The nine-banded is the resident armadillo of North America. It is considered exotic and invasive. Armadillos prefer soil that is easy to dig. You know if you have a resident armadillo in that they can plow your yard in the most inconvenient way. They love grubs. 

We have plenty of Armadillos in Georgia. I've seen one plastered to the ground. I picked up pecans and tossed them at one of my cats. At the time I thought the thing could raise up and attack my cat. The hard plates are quite the protection. Of the 20 species of armadillos, only two species which are of the three banded species can roll up into a ball. 

I took pictures of three small ones on the side of a country road. There is a joke that armadillos are the only animal born dead on the side of the road. Armadillos are eaten and are prized in Oaxacon cuisine. I heard of them being eaten in Georgia. They are called the poor man's pork. Like many animals that were widely eaten like the opossum and raccoon; no one really eats them anymore. 

But iffen you really want to eat an armadillos, cook it "well done" to kill the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria which causes leprosy. Leprosy is called Hansen's disease today. Armadillos are the only animals that host the bacteria in North America because they maintain a constant body temperature which the fragile leprosy bacteria needs to survive. The leprosy bacteria was introduced to the Americas from Europe. 

Because of leprosy which most people are immune to; no one is allowed to keep an armadillos as a pet in Georgia or Texas. I did not check the other states but I would assume that would be considered a practical rule for all to follow, much like you should not sleep with a pet snake.

Which reminds me of a joke:

A lawyer, Oliver Beaudrow, saw an armadillo on the road to his home. He wanted to move it so that it would not come on his lawn., He wrapped the animal in a towel and placed it in the back seat. 

Beaudrow turned his car around and turned off on a highway to go to a much less traveled dirt road. In his haste, he was speeding 2 mph above the speed limit and a police officer turns on his blue lights and follows him.. The dirt road was right there so Beaudrow made a right turn on the road. The police cruiser with its blue lights flashing pulled behind him. Beaudrow hoped it was sufficiently dark and the officer would not see the animal in the backseat. There was a standard $50 fine for having a wild animal in captivity.

Beaudrew got a fist full of papers and his license ready to hand to the officer. You had to go over 5 mph over the speed limit for a speeding ticket.

First question the officer asked was, "Sir, why have you got an armadillo in your back seat" The Armadillos was lying on the towel in the glow of the officer's flashlight. "Sir, I'll have to fine you for having a wild animal in captivity."

"Officer, that is a highly trained pet that I have owned since it was a baby." Beaudrow exits the car, and removes the Armadillo and places it on the ground. The armadillo scampers away as Beaudrow tells the officer it will return to the sound of a whistle. 

The officer asks, "Are you going to whistle?"

Beaudrow says, "Why?"

"To get your armadillos back?" says the officer..

Beaudrow looks puzzled. "What armadillo?." 

Armadillos have spread as far as North Dakota. They are hardy creatures. Drive carefully.

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  1. I have never seen an armadillo. Love your joke.

    1. It is bit of a thrill to introduce a wayout animal to an Aussie. But I guess all of our native animals are as exotic to Australians as Australian animals are to us. But our birds are not so colorful.

  2. Definitely not eating one or keeping it as a pet!

    1. I know, right. I have several which work my front yard which is a10 acre pasture. Technically, I guess they are mine.

  3. Armadillos always make me smile. Back when I was writing a blog for our pup, Sadie, she talked about the "Army Pillows" she saw. Hubby and I still call them that. LOL!

    1. You cannot beat army pillow. That is so cute. I think they are quite cute too. I haven't seen one in my front yard in a while. My dogs have become too pesty. But I loved seeing one regular visiter as the sun went down with it's big ears.

  4. Armadillo and Hansen's Disease? Yikes! I actually had to look up Hawaii's state animal because I forgot. It's a Hawaiian Monk Seal. It's endangered.

    1. I remember seeing a small mammal in Hawaii. Later we were on a tour and the guide told us about the Mongooses that had been brought to the island. I'm rooting for the Seal.

  5. I learned a lot about armadillos. Great joke.

    Ronel visiting for A: My Languishing TBR: A
    Abominable Wraiths


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