The size of an extra-large house cat, it's oblivious to my presence. Northward, precipitation is adequate, but winters are a problem. Their sight and hearing are poor, and they have the unusual habit of jumping upright when frightened, which explains why so many are hit by automobiles. More detail - hair sticking out between the chinks in the carapace and below it. A new study shows that some armadillos and people with leprosy in the southern United States are infected by the same bacterial strain, suggesting that … The thing that's hilarious is they'll forget they're being chased and they'll stop. Aha! It isn't the first armadillo to live here. Ernie Bohner copes with a few armadillos at Persimmon Hill Farm in Stone County where he grows blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. They're not the best housemates. At first, armadillos’ susceptibility to leprosy was a boost to science and medicine. If you find armadillos so novel and appealing you're moved to adopt one, don't rush into it. Even more remarkable are the variable delays in pregnancies. The Health Resources and Services Administration has reported that there are currently about 6,500 cases of the disease in the U.S. Then, in the mid-1980s, medical journals began to report diagnosis of leprosy in a few people in Texas and Louisiana who had no contact with leprosy patients but handled armadillos. But 1 in 6 armadillos in Texas and Louisiana carry the disease, which can be spread to humans by contact with the animals, their raw flesh or contaminated soil. For a few minutes, they foraged together comically, two pink noses rummaging in the same hole. Armadillos eat foods of animal origin — mostly insects and other invertebrates. Droppings are round like marbles and are composed of clay (armadillos ingest a great deal of soil as they eat soil-dwelling insects). Nine-banded armadillos, of which there are 30 to 50 million in the southeastern U.S., are believed to be the only significant natural reservoir of leprosy apart from humans. Only the nine-banded migrated into this country. In Missouri, armadillos are nocturnal in summer but shift their activity to daytime or evening in winter. The artist draws it springing into the air, claws spread. However, it is strongly advised to visit a local MDC office for any additional regulations prior to hunting armadillo. And who wouldn't be impressed by the nine-banded's litters? Armadillos have inspired curiosity in people first meeting the "little armored one" and frustration in those dealing with the "little lawn-and-garden tiller." Two of those, the nine-banded and the northern naked-tail armadillo, also live in Central America and Mexico. According to the Center for Disease Control, armadillos are the only animal to carry leprosy, a bacterial disease that affects the skin and nerves. At Drury Mincy, after a week with snow on the ground, researchers found eight dead armadillos. SMSU researchers think its sense of smell alerts it if the wind is right. (There used to be myths that they carried leprosy and other diseases). First recorded in Texas in 1849, it expanded its range north and east, at times aided by pranksters and animal dealers. Armadillos can carry the slow-moving leprosy bacterium, but there have been no armadillo-transmitted leprosy cases in Missouri. As far as scientists know, both problems - leprosy in armadillos and in people who have handled them - are restricted to Texas and Louisiana. Novemcinctus refers to the nine narrow plates that allow flexibility in its midsection. Armadillos exist only in the Americas, with South America home to all 20 species. Total length: 23–31 inches; tail length: 9½–14½ inches; usual weight: 11¾–14 pounds. But there you are. Cornered, the armadillo curls up in a semi protected ball. 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