Giant battleship: description of the animal, habitat
Battleship - one of the most ancient and unusual onplanet of animals. At home, the representatives of this family are called amadillas or "pocket dinosaurs". It is believed that the first battleships appeared on Earth 55 million years ago. To survive, unlike many other representatives of fauna, these animals for such a long time managed mainly due to the presence of a shell. The largest representative of this family is Priodontes maximus - a giant battleship.
In the wild, this kind of armadillo dwellsonly in South America. Meet these unusual spectacular "mini-dinosaurs" can be from Venezuela in the south to Paraguay in the north. The giant battleship is an animal whose habitat is thus quite extensive. Amadillas live in this area mostly only in wooded areas. The territorial site of one animal is usually 1-3 km square. Such armadillos lead a single life.
Description of the animal
The exterior view of the giant battleships differs fromreally impressive. The body length of an adult can reach 75-100 cm. The animal's weight often exceeds 30 kg. That is, in size Priodontes maximus resembles a 4-6-month-old pig. In captivity, the weight of this species of armadillos can reach 60 kg.
The whole body - sides, tail, head, back - thisThe southern animal is covered with small horny shields, connected by an elastic tissue. Thanks to this, the armor of the Amadilla differs mobility. The color of the shell of the giant battleship is dark brown. In any case, the stomach of Priodontes maximus is always lighter than the back.
The muzzle of the giant battleship hastubular shape. Teeth in the animal are directed back. On the paws of the amadilla there are large claws. The language of this battleship, like most other representatives of the family, is long and sticky. An animal easily "catches" even the most nimble insects.
Despite its frightening appearance, it is dangerousthe giant battleship is not a predator. It feeds in the wild mainly with termites, worms and all sorts of creeping and flying insects. The sharp long claws of Priodontes maximus are needed not to attack, but to destroy the anthills and dig burrows.
An interesting feature of the giant battleshipis that, despite its massive nature, this beast can easily stand on its hind legs. If necessary, thus, Priodontes maximus freely reaches to the top of the largest termite quarry.
How to multiply
With relatives Priodontes maximus are foundonly when they wish to have offspring. Sexual maturation in these animals occurs at the age of about a year. Pregnancy in the females of the giant battleship lasts not too long - about 4 months. In the litter, there is usually one or two cubs. In their education, only the mother takes part. The female feeds the milk of the baby for about six months. Then the children begin an independent life.
In most parts of South America, Amadillado not like and consider the pest of fields. The habitat of the giant battleship is extensive, and it rarely intersects with people. However, sometimes these animals do raids on crops. Of course, they do not eat plants, but they arrange "pogroms", tearing the earth in search of insects. Also, the amadillas, galloping around the field, mnut planting, sometimes causing considerable damage.
Special economic value "pocketThe Indians do not use the meat of armadillos, for example, because of its pronounced musky taste, but some Europeans consider this product to be quite tasty and reminiscent of pork, which is why the armadillos are not only exterminated by farmers, they are also caught by amateurs delicacies.This animal does not belong to endangered species, but even today it is considered rare.
The extinct giant armadillo
Priodontes maximus - for today, as alreadymentioned, the largest representative of the family. However, in prehistoric times on Earth, of course, lived and much more "oversized" battleships. For example, in the south of North America (10-11 thousand years ago) relatively recently inhabited by glyptodones and doodikurusy, outwardly very similar to the modern Priodontes maximus, but having much larger sizes. Their remains are found by archeologists quite often. The length of the body of these monsters could reach 3-4 meters.