Screaming armadillo

Mother with child at the Cincinnati Zoo.

As its name implies, the screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) squeals when threatened, perhaps by a hungry jaguar. Resting inside a burrow dug deep into a sand dune, it escapes the heat of a summer day. In winter, the armadillo is more active during the day.


  • Where to see them: Central South America
  • Length: Up to 1.3 ft
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Lifespan: 16 yrs
  • Habitat: Desert, grassland, scrubland, and forest
  • Diet: Plants, insects, and other small animals
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