A Tatouay is a type of armadillo.


The Tatouay is native to the continent on South America, being found from northern Venezuela and western Columbia to Belize and southern Mexico.


Head and body length: 300 – 490 mm.
Tail length: 90 – 200 mm.
Weight: 2.0 – 3.5 kg.

The Tatouay has a very dark carapace with yellowish edges. Their underbelly however is yellow-gray. They have five large claws, (with the center one being the longest). Like most armadillos they have 10 to 13 movable bands across their back, (although their tail is not nearly as well protected, with large patches of missing plating). The head of a Tatouay is short ond wide, as is their snout.


The Tatouay makes its home in burrows in upland plateaus.


The Tatouay walks with the soles of its hindfeet and on the tips of theier claws with their forefeet. This allows them to run quickly for short distances, (but they are not the fastest species of armadillo). This is a nocturnal species, and their main diet is ants and termites. The long center claw of the Tatouay is very useful for tearing apart rotten stumps and digging through anthills while searching for food. Their long tongue is also useful for sucking insects right out of small tunnels.

Sources include Websters node, and the Armadillo Online website.

Tat"ou*ay (?), n. [Of Brazilian origin; cf. Pg. tatu, F. tatou.] Zool.

An armadillo (Xenurus unicinctus), native of the tropical parts of South America. It has about thirteen movable bands composed of small, nearly square, scales. The head is long; the tail is round and tapered, and nearly destitute of scales; the claws of the fore feet are very large. Called also tatouary, and broad-banded armadillo.


© Webster 1913.

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