Giant Armadillo – Shielding and Safety
Living close to the land, exploring the caves and hidden spaces in inner and outer landscapes, protecting yourself, the necessity of shielding, shielding, keeping your armour visible, others know where your boundaries are, creating safety, boundaries, remaining grounded, finding it difficult to get projects off the ground, knowing how to bring others back down to earth, using the earth to nourish the soil.
The giant armadillo is found in eastern South America and Argentina, and is currently vulnerable to extinction. They are the world’s largest armadillo. They are covered with bony plates and horny scales that form a tough shell around the animal. They have long front claws, and a sickle-shaped third claw which is used for digging and ripping up termite mounds, that are their primary food. Giant armadillos will sometimes consume so many termites they will hollow out an entire mound; they will also eat worms, larvae, arachnids, snakes and plants. They primarily live in places with high termite density, such as tropical/subtropical ranforests, savannah, floodplains and arid/semi-arid woodland.
Giant armadillo have been little studied in the wild, and a wild juvenile has never been sighted. They are primarily solitary and nocturnal. They spend the day in burrows and can sleep for approximately 18 hours. They are hunted for meat and are a primary source of a protein for some indigenous nations. They rest in large burrows they dig themselves, and sometimes these are located in exterminated termite mounds. They can balance on their hind legs and tail, a technique used in termite feeding and to ward off predators. They are predated upon by jaguars, pumas and humans. They are beneficial to ecosystems by controlling termite and ant (specifically leaf-cutter ant) populations and aerating soils; this makes them a keystone species.