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Texas State Small Mammal
Adopted in June 16, 1995.
The armadillo, (Dasypus novemcinctus,) became the official small state mammal of Texas when Governor George W. Bush signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 178 on June 16, 1995. The same resolution named the longhorn the official large state mammal of the State of Texas. Though not specified in House Concurrent Resolution No. 178, we assume that the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is the species legislators were referring to when they named the armadillo the official small state mammal of Texas. It is commonly found as far north and east as Oklahoma and Mississippi.
Texas State Small Mammal: Armadillo
The nine-banded armadillo, a relatively recent addition to the Texas fauna, is the only species of armadillo that occurs in North America, the other twenty or so species of Dasypodidae being restricted to South and Central America. The Texas armadillo is about the size of a large cat; its overall length is about 2½ feet, and adults weigh from twelve to seventeen pounds. Mature females mate in late summer and autumn and give birth to identical quadruplets the following spring. The armadillo's diet consists chiefly of insects, grubs, and spiders, though it also eats such foods as earthworms, small amphibians, and reptiles.
Characteristics of the Texas Armadillo
Body Length: 15-17 in. Tail: 14-16 in. Weight: 8-17 lbs.
The Nine-banded Armadillo is a cat-sized, armored, insect-eating mammal. Similar in form to an anteater, the bony, scaled shell of the armadillo protects it from attacks by predators. Unfortunately, armadillos often fall victim to automobiles and are frequently found dead on roadsides.
A prolific digger, armadillos dig many burrows, as well as dig for food. Distribution is often determined by soil conditions, since the animal will not survive in areas where the soil is too hard to dig. Many other wildlife species use and benefit from these abandoned burrows.
Although occasionally considered a nuisance by home owners, the armadillo's habit of digging up lawns is driven by its appetite for grubs, which can also harm lawns.
Eats insects and other invertebrates. Skilled at digging for grubs. Occasionally eats berries and bird eggs.
Although breeding occurs in July, the embryo remains in a dormant state until November. Four young are born in a burrow in March. All four young, always of the same sex, are identical quadruplets and developed from the same egg. They even share a single placenta while in the womb. Armadillos are the only mammals in which multiple young form from a single egg with any regularity.
Habitat and Distribution
The armadillo is the state mammal of Texas. Originally native to South America, the armadillo now ranges as far north as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana. Found in all but the western Trans-Pecos portion of Texas in a variety of habitats; brush, woods, scrub and grasslands.
House Concurrent Resolution No. 178, 74th Legislature, Regular Session (1995)
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
The armadillo was named the official small state mammal of the State of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution and is not, therefore, listed in the
Hierarchy of the Armadillo
Mammals are vertebrates (backboned animals) that feed their young on mother's milk.
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