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  • Tallahassee Educational Article of the Month - How did armadillos get into North America?

How did armadillos get into North America?

How did armadillos get into North America? Armadillos have a long history according to many scholars. These scholars, through their studies have tried to explain the origin of the Armadillo, its behaviours, habitats, reproduction, eating habits and movements. We have previously known that Armadillos are mostly found in parts of central South America and in parts of central United States. They had to come from somewhere to get to where they are. Through this journey, they adapted to the environmental conditions the faced and came to be known for the mammals that they are. This article will explain the origin of the armadillos and how they made their way into Northern America.

The Florida armadillo comes from a group of animals known as Xenarthra which is also the same group where the sloth and the anteaters comes from. The ancestors of the armadillo were located in South America and they lived there for very many years. After thousands of years, loads of mammals started migrating into North America through the Panamanian land bridge. The movement was due to several reasons. These were climatic changes, search for food, vegetation and human factors.

The main pathway through which the armadillo got into North America is through is commonly known as the ‘Isthmus of Panama’. The Isthmus of Panama is a thin belt of land that is found between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is the link between North and South America. The period in which the Armadillos migrated into North America was a period when the fish of the freshwater migrated into North America through Central America into the south and from the south into North America through the centre. This was possible when the piece of land in Panama came up and formed a bridge to like North and South America. This was now the pathway facilitating movement of animals including Armadillos to North America. There reasons why Tallahassee Armadillos moved from southern parts of America to the north are:

The lack of abundant vegetation in the south. Florida Armadillos needed plenty of vegetation for food since insects were more concentrated in soils that had plenty of vegetation. They there for moved through the Panamanian pathway in search of more vegetation for them to survive.

Climatic factors. Weather and levels of precipitation in South America started changing and the Tallahassee Armadillos felt that this was not conducive for them to mate and reproduce. They therefore opted to move to the north where the climate was favourable enough for them to reproduce and where they could find suitable habitats.

Human Factors made the Armadillos move from the south to North America. These include the construction of buildings, roads and other types of infrastructure which destroyed armadillo habitats. They were therefor forcefully evicted and moved to the north.

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