Armadillos’ size ranges from 6 inches to 5 feet only. The word armadillo is a Spanish term which means “little armored one.” Armadillos are gifted with thick scales that defend their back, head, legs, and tail. However, of the 21 species, only one can curl into a ball to protect itself from predators. They prefer living in warm areas because they can’t keep their bodies warm for an extended time.
Because armadillos are quite smaller than other animals, they are the target of some predators. So, who preys on armadillos?
Predators of Armadillo
One of the biggest predators of armadillos is coyotes. These animals belong to the dog family and eat almost everything, even pets and livestock; that’s why ranchers and farmers hate them. Also, though they are smaller than wolves, they are still strong, especially when they form packs to hunt during fall and winter. They can run 40 miles per hour.
These animals have sharp eyesight compared to the armadillos, which have a problem with vision. Aside from their keen sense of sight, these animals’ sense of smell is also strong, and they use it for hunting their prey in thick vegetation. One thing famous about these animals is how they howl, especially during night time. They use their wastes to mark their areas.
Wolves are built for traveling. With its long legs, large feet, and a narrow chest, these animals are made for life on the run. Well-honed sense, large canine teeth, strong jaws, and the ability to run at 60 km per hour make these animals great for hunting prey. They travel long distances with an average of 20 kilometers or more in a day. They want to seize their prey at night in areas populated with humans during warm weather.
If they do see an armadillo, the wolves will likely eat it, making the wolves predators of armadillos. An exciting thing about wolves is that they can form strong social bonds, which is why they can create packs. They’re usually composed of six to ten wolves. They are known to travel long distances. They cooperate to hunt larger preferred prey.
Except for the polar bear and pandas, bears are generally omnivorous, which means they can eat both plants and animals. Although they look clumsy, bears can move fast, even through dense cover, which would usually stop humans. Most of the hunting is done through the sense of smell because of their poor eyesight and hearing.
Usually gaining weight before the season, bears sleep fitfully through the winter, but they don’t truly hibernate. Although they’re heavy, some bears are sturdy climbers, and all of them can swim. They also don’t communicate by sound much. Though they usually growl when eating, when being challenged, or when competing for mates.
Another predator of armadillos is raccoons. These animals are intelligent and curious. Their front feet are highly skilled and seem like thin human hands, and the back feet are thicker and longer, making them ideal for catching armadillos. The raccoons are omnivores, although they can be classified as carnivores.
Raccoons are also called ringtails, and the most common is the North American raccoon. They also adapt well to the human environment and can even be found in towns and cities. Since plenty of raccoons are affected by the availability of food, they are mostly found in cities. The place is where they den in trash cans and dumpsters where they live on a diet of garbage and anything available to them.
Eagles are generally any bird of prey that’s stronger than a buteo (buzzard hawks). They may seem like vultures in build and flight properties, but they have a fully-feathered face and powerful curved claws. They are too heavy for sufficient aerial prey but try to shock and overcome their victim on the ground.
Because of their strength, they have been a symbol of war and power since Babylonian times. Eagles are also monogamous, meaning they mate for life and use the same nest every year. The nest is often in inaccessible places, of course, to protect the young.
Hawks have many techniques to look for food, but the most common one is raking, following the prey’s efforts to escape. Once the hawk has captured its prey in a firm clutch, the bird separates the victim into smaller parts with its pointed, firm beak. They fly low and feed on smaller birds or animals, such as the armadillos.
Hawks appear in all the six major continents. Most of the species live in trees, but some live on the ground, while others in cliffs.
Bobcats are ferocious hunters, hunting by slyness. They can also hunt animals much bigger than themselves, though they usually hunt smaller animals. Although they hunt by stealth, they can give fatal blows with their mighty jumps.
Bobcats are most active during the night, so humans don’t get to seem them much. These wildcats can adapt to different environments such as jungles and deserts. The bobcat is twice the size of an average housecat that you usually see. They are called bobcats because of their tail, which appears to be “bobbed” or trimmed.
The next predator of armadillos is cougars. These carnivorous (animals that eat meat) animals hunt at dusk, dawn, and at night. Their method of hunting usually involves tracking their prey then pouncing on it with a deadly bite to the neck. Cougars hunt deer but also hunt smaller prey such as the armadillo. When the body of its prey is a bit large, the cougar hides it and to save it for the following days.
We can call this animal puma, panther, mountain lion, and catamount. We cannot see much of these animals because they are shy and want to live alone.
Foxes hunt alone and feed on small animals such as the armadillos, but their diet is flexible. They could also eat frogs and even worms, and if living among humans, pet food. Foxes are also omnivores.
Along with their diet, their habitats are also diverse, including mountains and deserts. And they can even live among human-populated places such as suburban areas and even larger communities. Aside from urinating on trees and rocks, they also use their tails to communicate with their peers.
The animal world is terrifying for smaller animals like the armadillo. Good thing it has a protective covering. Besides, it has also formed other ways to stay alive – keep still until the predator goes away, run and hide, or startle the attacker then hide.
I hope that this article on armadillo predators was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Animal Facts Page!