Armadillos are known for their majestic natural body armor. Both the shape and size of this animal are quite attractive. So, what do armadillos eat? More people are concerned about it.
To maintain their physical shape and beauty, they need good food intakes. Nutritious foods help them to grow healthily, too. In terms of type, they are mammals and eat primarily small animals.
This creature loves to sleep up to fifteen hours a day! They only go out either in the mornings or evenings to find food. Foraging is their favorite method to get foods. Here is further discussion about their diet.
Diets of Adult Armadillos
In nature, armadillos are omnivores. They would eat various types of foods including plants and meats. Still, their favorites are larvae and insects. Specifically, they are fond of ants and small bugs.
Taking advantage of their sticky and long tongue, they can hunt and catch ants without problems. Other choices are termites and beetles. The key is to dig the ground to expose these foods.
If they can’t find prime food sources (ants and insects), they would eat eggs, fruits, and plants. Sometimes, they will eat dead animals by scavenging.
You may find some armadillos that eat moderate-sized animals in the wild, too. For example, these are lizards, tiny snakes, frogs, salamanders, birdies, and rabbits! Are these all?
Adult armadillos love to eat some fruits and plants, as well. In summer, for instance, they would consume fallen bark, grapes, et cetera. In terms of adaptability, they choose a certain habitant based on dietary needs.
Even though armadillos can eat different types of foods, they have a pattern and favorite diets. Theirs is quite similar to humans’ eating outlines. Their priority is none other than ants’ colony.
That means they would look for alternatives (fruits and plants) when ants or insects are scarce.
The Baby Armadillos’ Foods
For baby armadillos or orphans, they need special treatment and supplies of foods. Usually, these babies can take soaked canned cat food. This supplement helps them to stay healthy and strong.
Despite the fact, they need to get natural foods, as well. These include fruits, larvae, and worms. The mothers dig a burrow and raise their babies in it. This hole is meant as a sleeping place and nest.
Burrows should be safe and comfortable. Once the mothers feel unsafe regarding the hole, they would move their babies to a new and safer location. They must ensure the chicks to grow properly.
During the early days, baby armadillos depend on their mother’s milk for a living. This usually lasts about several weeks. After that, they come out of the hole and go foraging with their mother.
Even though these young armadillos can forage foods, they still need their mother. According to experts, the mother keeps feeding the babies until they reach the age of 5 months.
It is possible to raise armadillos at a captivation center. During nursing age, humans can use kitten formula to feed them. An eyedropper can be a good tool for feeding!
One thing, it must be done properly and you should not overfeed them. Otherwise, this may cause severe problems and death! Therefore, nurturing babies should be done with cautions.
Their Eating Behaviors
As mentioned earlier, armadillos have a sticky and long tongue. This unique anatomy helps them to catch beetles, ants, termites, and various insects easily. They must dig the ground first, though.
The texture of their tongue is rough and it is suitable for foraging. Aside from the tongue, they take advantage of their feet and claws to find foods (especially for digging).
Plus, armadillos have a good smell sense. This ability helps them to locate foods efficiently. While sniffing, they would put their nose close to the ground. Their targets are insects that live underground.
Further Useful Information
Armadillos have no hair to protect them from harsh temperatures. Therefore, they would choose the most comfortable time for hunting or looking for foods. Usually, they go out in the evenings.
During winter, they come out at noon instead to get a warmer temperature. They can also cross water! However, they make their body more buoyant first by swallowing lots of air.
In the wet season, armadillos end to eat fruits than insects, though. Also, they eat eggs of several types of animal at the time. Lettuce and other similar veggies become great alternatives, as well.
Armadillos suit their diets based on where they live. So, what do armadillos eat? Usually, their favorite foods are insects like ants, termites, and beetles. They are also fond of invertebrates!
In some occasions, they may eat various types of fruits and vegetables. As for babies, they depend on their mother to survive until reach a proper age for foraging independently in the wild.
Their diversity in sizes, eating behaviors, and habitats, they may choose different types of foods either. Plus, they would go out for foraging at the best time. The purpose is to avoid discomfort due to extreme seasons.