Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig upgrubs, beetles, ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 inches (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues…
Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball. It is, however, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation originally developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging.
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From photographer Joel Sartore's Biodiversity Project, a video to promote his book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, which beautifully showcases species that are in danger of disappearing in America, and some that “have come back from the brink.”
Advice from Joel about helping animals? Start by:
…visiting and patronizing your local zoo. Zoos and aquariums are vitally important to conservation today. Not only do they fund and manage captive breeding programs, but they are increasingly involved in conservation of habitat in the wild. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium in your area here.
Last but not least, learn more about your favorite animal. A simple web search will likely lead you to the organizations working on its conservation. Support them. And share what you know with your friends and family. The more people who are informed and who care, the better.
There is also a pretty funny video from behind the scenes of his shoot:
h/t NYT’s LENS.