Home Range, Activity Period, Burrow Use, and Body Temperatures of the Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus Novemcinctus) on the Northern Edge of Its Range

Date of Graduation

Summer 1994


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins


Since entering the United States 150 years ago, the nine-banded armadillo has been steadily expanding its range. This study examines some aspects of the armadillo's natural history at the northern edge of its currently expanding range. Armadillos were observed utilizing from one to four burrows and mulitiple individuals were found in the same burrow. During the winter a shift in activity from nocturnal to diurnal behavior was observed. There was a strong correlation between the seasonal shift in activity and temperature. The armadillos in this study maintained a constant body temperature of approximately 35°C over a range of ambient temperatures from -14 to 30°C. Mean male and female minimum home range estimates were 0.74 ± 0.96 ha. and 1.46 ± 0.08 ha. respectively. There was a high degree of range overlap which suggests that armadillos are non-territorial. Six mammalian species were found to use armadillo burrows for shelter. There were also a number of other vertebrate species observed in the vicinity of the burrows.

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© Paul T Schell