I am still weirdly fascinated by these armored mammals. This evening at the park I had my first close encounter with a Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) since moving to Florida.
It was a similar interaction to one I had in Texas last summer. In both instances the animals were entirely too focused on foraging to even notice me. They are known for having poor eyesight, relying instead on their keen sense of smell. This one stood up to have a “sniff” around before returning to digging. Speaking of which, note the length of those claws on the forelimbs.
Based on the diminutive size of this one, it’s safe to say it was a juvenile. It certainly was energetic in its search for food! I am particularly taken with the almost floral pattern on this one’s forehead.
First noted in the state in the 1920s, armadillos are now considered naturalized here (and other parts of the south).