Have you ever seen an armadillo up-close? I hadn't until I recently discovered these videos of an adorable three-banded armadillo named Wilson who lives at the San Antonio Zoo. He's quite a cutie, with his little digging claws, tiny snout, cool flexible armor, and silly whisps of fur.
Here he is being a "snack vacuum," getting scratches, zooming here and there, and walking around sniffing. And while he's tiny and looks like a baby, he's actually quite full grown—this summer, he celebrated his eleventh birthday!
National Geographic provides some information about the southern three-banded armadillo:
The southern three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) is indigenous to central South America, ranging between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Like most armadillos, the southern three-banded is covered in plates of leathery armor that protect it from predators. But what makes this armadillo special is its ability to roll completely into a ball. The neighboring Brazilian three-banded armadillo is the only other armadillo with this adaptation. The adaptation works well in the wild—only jaguars, alligators, and pumas are powerful enough to punch through the protective plates.
Habitat loss is a challenge for many species, including the southern three-banded armadillo. During the 20th century, the rich Rio de la Plata river basin underwent agricultural development; the habitat changed from a flood plain to cultivated fields of crops such as soy and sorghum. Today, the southern three-banded armadillo is classified as a near threatened species.
For more videos of Wilson, follow San Antonio Zoo.
Cute Creature Rating: 7/10