Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), Markham Park
The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal. It is found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until thousands of years later when the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–120 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. It is the state small mammal of Texas.