Vets Examine Giant Armadillo

The Giant Armadillo Project employs two vets who have developed specialized

knowledge of this rare creature.

Arnaud Desbiez: Camila just applied the aesthetic and now we have to wait.

Arnaud has worked out that a giant armadillo’s gestation period is five months.

But he has no way of telling whether or not Isabelle is expecting

a baby.

However, he takes the chance to check her general health

and collect samples of her

hair and blood and other tissues.

A giant armadillo can weigh an astonishing 110 pounds.

Its armor-plated skin is made of a combination of horn and bone.

Flexible and strong, it makes an adult giant armadillo almost predator-proof.

Isabelle measures about 4 feet 8 inches long… and she’s superbly equipped for digging.

Giant armadillo front claws can be more than 7 inches long…

They give Isabelle the ability rip open termite mounds and and excavate burrows in really

hard ground.

She is a living bulldozer.

Her back feet are shovel shaped and so efficient that, big though she is, she can disappear

below ground in less than twenty minutes.

Every single part of a giant armadillo is fascinating for Arnaud.

Arnaud: I’m collecting hair off a giant armadillo - they have tiny little hairs between

the scales.

Yet so little is still known about these remarkable creatures, every piece of data is precious.