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1. Thick Skin - The armadillo’s trademark is its leather hide. The football helmet shaped exterior allows the armadillo to scamper harmless through the thick, prickly vegetation in its native Southwestern United States. Meanwhile, predators in hot pursuit must give up the chase or risk a thorn in the eye.

2. The Giant Claw – The armadillo also comes equipped with a large claw on its front feet. This claw allows the armadillo to burrow deep into the earth at an extraordinary pace. While would-be attackers linger hopelessly on the surface, the armadillo enjoys the cool shade of a newly dug home.

3. The Fetal Position – Similar to the way the possum plays dead, the armadillo can roll itself into an extremely tight ball. By burying its head in its crotch, the armadillo can hide its vitals from the enemy.

4. Mad hops – One of the most unique and unappreciated defenses utilized by the armadillo is its ability to leap predators in a single bound. Capable of jumping up to three feet in the air, the armadillo is able to evade an overzealous coyote by leaping over the attacker as it lunges. In more recent times, however, this defense mechanism has also become one of the most common causes of the armadillo’s demise. Imagine said armadillo wandering across a Texas highway when a large 18-wheeler comes tearing down the road. Scared, the armadillo leaps in an attempt to avoid the attacking truck. Unfortunately, three feet is not enough to clear a big rig, and the armadillo is either rammed head on by the grill or, if the armadillo is a little slow, caught in the rotating axles underneath the vehicle.

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