Jumpin' Armadillos! (Literally)

I don't know where Gail of Scribal Terror blog gets her stuff, but this one is priceless: In the southeastern USA, there are a lot of nine-banded armadillos killed by cars.

At first, it was thought it was because they got run over but scientist and long-time armadillo watcher Dr. Eleanor Storrs found out the truth:

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.

Another weird thing about armadillos is how they cross a river:

One behavior that is thought to have helped the armadillo to reach the southern part of the United States is the ability to cross bodies of water. It is thought that the nine-banded armadillo arrived in Texas by crossing the Rio Grande in the mid-19th century (Schueler, 1988).

The nine-banded armadillo has been observed to get across a body of water by two methods. The first method is the ability to float across by gulping air into their stomachs and intestines (Watson, 1989), and secondly if the body of water is shallow enough, the nine-banded armadillo is able to walk across the bottom by holding its breath for up to five minutes (Watson, 1989).

Link - via Scribal Terror

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