Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Dasypodid dance

Since I just got back from Texas, it’s only fitting to show this beast in a characteristic action pose:

(via National Geographic)

(Also on Sb)


  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where’s the road? I thought they jumped into people’s radiators.

  2. Ys says

    Texas is training squads of ninja armadillos in order to reestablish the Confederacy. We’re screwed!

  3. says

    I met the lady who shot that (if it’s the photographer for nat geo that I think it is) – she uses a laser trip and a camera on a tripod with a battery-powered strobe. She puts it where the critters tend to roam and then waits… Very clever. She’s done some amazing work and also gets occasionally extremely goofy expressions out of the various critters.

    I always thought this would be a fun way to photograph hunters, from a safe distance.

  4. Rick Litherland says

    For some reason, I was under the impression that the Texas state mammal (small) was the pink fairy armadillo. Turns out it’s the 9-banded one; is that the guy in the photo? In checking before making an utter fool of myself, I found out that Texas has a state molecule, the buckyball, because it was discovered at Rice. Does anyone know of another state with an official molecule? And does anyone, however remotely associated with Rice, know if the Marching Owl Band has ever marched in buckyball formation?

  5. Paula Helm Murray says

    This is why they get hit by cars. They are trying to cross the highway, they hear the car and leap. They’re at about the same height as most cars’ oilpans….

    Just saying.

  6. Hazuki says

    “Arma-fucking-dillo. Arma-fucking-armor-plated-dillo. Arma-what-the-fuck-is-it-dillo…dillo…dillo…bloody useless intelligent design…*zzzz*”

  7. CaptTu says

    I call photoshop…

    We Texans all know that those are born on the side road already dead.

  8. Therrin says

    I always thought this would be a fun way to photograph hunters, from a safe distance.

    Ohhh that would make an awesome prank. Just don’t tell TLC..

  9. tushcloots says

    You see? You see? FTL particles, rain in Texas, armadillos levitating, atheist conference in Houston…
    There’s a connection, I just feel it.

  10. Curt Cameron says

    Just to note what’s going on in the picture – armadillos are usually seen waddling along in wooded areas with their noses to the ground. But when they’re startled, they jump straight up! That’s what’s going on here. It’s amazing how this heavy, short-legged, ungainly creature can spring up to a surprising height.

    When I was a teenager we caught one and placed him in an empty 30-gallon trash can. And he jumped out of it.

  11. Gregory Greenwood says

    We have the John Woo-esque ‘bullet time’ slo-mo leap, now all we need is guns akimbo*…

    * This is a TV Tropes link. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  12. Russell says

    I for one welcome our leprosy infected mutant ninja armadillo masters, for they cooks up into powerful good chili !

  13. Crudely Wrott says

    Sprightly leaping is not the only trick up their armored sleeves. They are surprisingly athletic and can out run and out dodge skeptic and believer alike with apparent nonchalance.

    For an interesting exercise in primal skill I suggest you try armadillo stalking.
    This is best done on a cloudy day or in the twilight hours so as to take advantage of their lousy eyesight. They have sharp ears, though, and their sense of smell is supra-bloodhound. A downwind approach is fundamental.
    If you are stealthy enough you can get within a yard of them. That’s when you’ll give yourself away due to uncontrollable giggles.

    See, they root about in the turf and debris underfoot and as they do they make a soft grunting and huffing sound that calls to mind an old man mumbling to himself. And they squint, so making the illusion of a little old man hunting for his spectacles. The lovableness of such a ridiculous countenance is only sweetened by the critter’s enthusiastic dedication as it uproots and overturns the land with its snout.

    So, that’s how you get a closeup look at an armadillo levitating. Just sneak up and get closer and closer until you simply must laugh out loud. That will spook the ‘diller and, up he goes!

  14. Mattir says

    I for one welcome our leprosy infected mutant ninja armadillo masters, for they cooks up into powerful good chili !

    I hope you’re vigilant about leprosy, then, since 1/3 of the cases in the US come from people who’ve had contact with armadillos, usually involving hunting and cooking. Citation.