For Eileen's SATURDAY CRITTERS, here is the armadillo, certainly one of the oddest and most unusual creatures we've ever seen in the wild. According to Wikipedia, they are only surviving family in their order. They certainly look rather like a prehistoric 'last survivor' .
This was the first one we ever saw live and it was when we were traveling in Texas. At first we only ever saw them dead alongside the road. According to Wikipedia: Armadillos are common roadkill due to their habit of jumping three to four feet vertically when startled, which puts them into collision with the underside of vehicles.
Their shell is leather-like and in fact armadillo means 'little armored one' in Spanish. Also according to Wikipedia, there are several species of armadillo in South and Central America and one, the nine-banded, has reached Texas and Florida and even further north as their range has expanded due to lack of natural predators.
This picture and the one below were taken just last month here in Florida. It's hard to get a face, because most of the time they are rooting in the grass for grubs and worms or maybe making a burrow.
As always with wild animals and birds, we were using the zoom lens from a safe and respectful distance but in case anyone was ever tempted to get closer, Wikipedia also tells us that armadillos carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including leprosy.
And here I thought alligators were the scariest creatures I could possibly show you!
Thanks to Eileen for hosting. Click the links to see more wild and tame critters -- most of them beautiful and not scary at all. Thank you for hosting.