Argentina: Peninsula Valdez – Armadillos
There are two species of armadillos on Peninsula Valdez – a rather rare one (pichi aka dwarf armadillo) and the more common one peludo (aka larger hairy armadillo). We got super lucky to see both! Pichi or dwarf armadillo lives only here and is the only armadillo that hibernates. The larger peludo armadillo where all around the parking lots and looked like little vacuum cleaners looking for any and all food leftovers. The peludo is the largest armadillo in South America and have 8 armor bands on top, while the rarer endemic pichi has 7 bands. Shells are made of bone and are flexible, but neither of these two species can roll into a complete ball. Armadillos are omnivorous, with sticky tongues collecting everything from grubs to termites. They have very poor eyesight and instead navigate based on smell mostly. They dig underground burrows up to 20 feet long and with different exits and entrances. They spent up to 16 hours a day just sleeping.