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Armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus)

The armadillo; this is one of the two armadillos possible to find in Patagonia. Also known as hairy, with a weight ranging from 1.5 to 3.6 kg, it is the largest of the armadillos present in Chile. Its head is triangular in shape and covered with plates, while its body is covered by a strong cuirass that has between 6 and 8 articulated bands and long, stiff hairs. Its colour is greyish brown, which perfectly camouflages it with the ground. This species can be found from Bolivia and Paraguay to southern Argentina and Chile. In Chile it can be found from the Biobío Region to Magallanes.

It inhabits preferably in grassland, steppe and scrub environments and is nocturnal, although it is common to observe it during the day. It lives inside burrows that they build by digging with their powerful claws. When threatened, it takes refuge inside these burrows or compresses its body into a ball, protecting itself with the plates of its shell. It is an omnivorous animal, which feeds on insects, vegetables, fruits, eggs and carrion.

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