What an Armadillo Can Teach you

In southern states of the U.S. and all the way down into South America, armadillos of different shapes and sizes roam the lands. Here are ten awesome facts about these peculiar creatures:

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1. Armadillos live and love to dig.

In fact, their digging is what keeps them alive. Whether it’s digging burrows or scouring the ground out for insect meals, this is what they’re known for.

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2. The digging habit of armadillos is closely related to their location on the map.

In southern areas, the soil is soft enough for these creatures to dig as much as their little claws desire. The harder the soil, the more difficult it is to do their work. This is why an armadillo won’t be spotted in the northern states where the soil is cold and callous.

Armadillo Close-up

Aside from needing soft soil, armadillos just aren’t built for cold weather. With little stores of fat in their anatomy, they’re often forced to cuddle up in burrows when cold weather hits their habitats.

3. There are 20 different varieties of the armadillo and only one, the nine banded armadillo, can be found in the U.S.

So if you want to see the diverse sizes and colors of the armadillo species, you’ll have to venture down to the warm climates of South America.

4. The nine banded armadillo is the state mammal of Texas.

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The scientific name for this specific variety of the armadillo is Dasypus novemcinctus. Though Texas has claimed this animal as Her official state mammal, nine banded armadillos can also be found in the U.S states of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas.

5. Armadillos found in South America can be much larger than those known in the U.S. They can even grow up to five feet long and 120 pounds. 

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On the other end of the spectrum, they can be as small as five inches and weigh 3 ounces.

6. The word “armadillo” comes from the Spanish language and means, “Little armored one.”

The term “nine banded” is in reference to the number of bands on the shell of the armadillos found in the southern U.S. The scientific name for armored mammals is xenarthra cingulata.

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Mammal + Armor = Armadillo (Xenarthra cingulata)

7. The rough and tough looking shells on the backs of armadillos are there for protection.

Everything serves a purpose, right? Though the shells may look odd to humans, these creatures depend on their firm coating to guard against predators. They are the only mammals to sport these shells of armor.

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Unfortunately, their soft bellies are prone to attack from predators, but the armadillos will sometimes sink down into the dirt when they are under attack to protect the soft side and let their enemies face the rigid shells.

8. A diet of an armadillo primarily includes insects, but they also eat plants and small vertebrates (this could include anything from a tiny fish or lizard up to a little mouse).

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9. Armadillos have terrible eyesight, but make up for this with their amazing sense of smell.

When digging down in the dirt, they use their long snouts to sniff out their dinner.

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With such poor eyesight, it’s pretty easy to sneak up on an armadillo, especially one who is hard at work digging out a new burrow. A close encounter with one of these creatures can be common, but one should always respect the territory and be careful not to spook the armadillo.

10. Armadillos are descendants of a prehistoric creature called the “glyptodon.”

Apparently, these big guys were around the size of a small car.

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Life advice from the armadillo: When facing stressful times, focus on your strengths. Though they look a little odd and might destroy your yard from time to time, armadillos are awesome creatures that deserve to live on this planet just as much as any other unique species of earth.

Thank you very much for reading this post. My armadillo buddies and I are eternally grateful.

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Image result for three armadillos

References “Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus Novemcinctus).” Texas Parks and Wildlife, https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/dillo/. “Armadillos.” National Geographic, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/armadillos/

“Armadillo (Xenarthra cingulata).” San Diego Zoo Animals and Plants, http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/armadillo

This is How We Benefit From All Animals

Each animal in nature is a textbook of information all in itself. There’s much to be learned from these creatures if we take the time to slow down and observe. Most of us see small birds and bugs several times throughout the day and never have a passing thought about them. We go to the zoo and watch dozens of unique species and yet fail to learn anything for ourselves.

Personally love animals, so of course I’m biased. But there are valuable lessons to be learned from the species other than humans, and taking the time to learn can help us in other ways than knowledge alone.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here I’m going to list the reasons why learning about amazing animals will help you in return for your time and attention.

1 – Learning about different animals will force you to slow down for a moment. 

Everything in this world is on a time table. We’re forced to slave over the clock and attempt to jam as much work and errands into one day as possible. Though the world works this way, it’s not very healthy for the human mind. We’re stressed and overworked, always worried about money, and rarely take breaks for ourselves.

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Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Commit yourself to spending 5-10 minutes learning a little bit about the animals of the earth each week. This time spend learning will distract you and force you to sit down for a breather. We could all use a little break, and why not spend that break reading something interesting?

2 – As you read about species all over the planet, you will start to see the bigger picture.

With work, school, kids, etc., it’s easy to drift into a routine of the daily modern life. When we do this, we forget that a universe outside of our internal daily world even exists. Learning about unique creatures all over the planet will help you leave the stressful small world inside your home or office and see that the earth is a huge place full of diversity.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

See the world for all it is instead of constantly centering in on your own life. This will make simple stressors seem less significant.

3 – You will grow connected with the animals as you learn about them. 

As humans, we crave connection. We are social beings by nature and need to bond with others to feel fulfilled deep down. This connection doesn’t always have to be with other humans. In fact, you can create bonds with any living soul whether it’s a little frog in your backyard or a massive lion in a conservation center. Take the time to learn, observe, and grow a connection with an animal of any kind and you will feel warmth in your heart.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4 – By observation and research, we can actually learn from the animals.

The introduction of this post mentions this, but I’d like to expand on my perspective more. My goal is to do separate posts along this journey for each species and what humans can learn from each of them, so I will keep this part general and less specific. Animals are instinctively wise creatures in many areas where humans are not. They raise their young, survive in harsh conditions, and can live independently from human society by nature. They are born with more of this innate knowledge unlike humans who need to be taught most everything in life.

The habits of animals have the potential to teach us more about our own lives – whether literally or  metaphorically. But we must first pay attention and take the time to learn and see these creatures in a different light. Animals are not lesser beings than humans, they are only different beings. And we can all learn from those different than ourselves.

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Photo by NAUSHIL ANSARI on Pexels.com

5 – Learning new things will open your mind.

Having a routine life isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, humans crave the act of having a set routine to follow each day. However, this can have negative consequences when we begin to only see the aspects of our daily habits. Learning the diversity that the world holds will force you out of your daily comfort zone and allow you to see more of the planet around you. You will be able to expand your knowledge discover new things about the world you may not have otherwise known without reading a little bit about a unique critter.

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I truly believe there’s much to be learned from the Animal Kingdom on this earth, and cracking the book open on creatures is good for human wellness as well.

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Thank you for reading this post. I hope you join me in my madness of learning about every species on earth. Have a good day!

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A Bee to Hold 🐝

The bee flew in my ear

A secret for the day

People have it all wrong

We want and we take

We give no life to those

Who look unlike ourselves

We know just what we know

And send all else to hell

If only we would learn

From those we see as less

We’d be better humans

We’d wash this hateful mess

Cease discrimination

End wars and violence

Quit claiming damnation

Rest for tired eyelids

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5 EPIPHANIES in ‘Happy Birthday, Zack’

Happy Birthday, Zack is episode 10 of season one of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The Rangers pretend to forget Zack’s birthday (Zack is the black ranger/Mastodon) in order to keep him oblivious to the surprise party they’re planning.

Rita has her minions create a “Nasty Knight” to defeat the Rangers, etc. Nothing new, just a new bizarre looking creature and a different daily situation for our teenagers in the 90s.

Though it’s much of the same, here are 5 new life lessons from Happy Birthday, Zack, episode 10:

1 – Show your friends that you love them.

Plan a party, buy a random gift, or simply show some love to your friends. Let them know how important they are and how much they are appreciated.

2 – If you have a secret, make up a more insane secret (innocent and harmless to others) to deter others from discovering your secret.

If you’re a superhero fighting off aliens everyday and wanting to keep your identity unknown, just lie and start some rumors that the superhero everyone sees is actually from outer space. That will throw everyone off your trail.

3 – No one wants to fight on his/her birthday.

Zack makes a comment similar to this and I think it’s a great statement. We all need some time to relax and be celebrated for being alive. Don’t fight on birthdays. Celebrate on birthdays.

4 – Learn from the strengths of others.

Don’t be jealous or angry when someone is better at a certain skill. Use their strengths as motivation and learn from the other person’s skill level. We are all beginners at some point, and no one is the best at everything. So watch and learn.

5 – Bake or buy a cake instead of inventing a magic cake machine. Geez.

Billy’s magic cake machine is a disaster. Sometimes it’s best to take the simple path and just buy a cake. Lesson learned, Billy.

Thanks for reading this post and have a great day far from any Nasty Knights!

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This is What Tony Hawk Video Games Taught Me About Life

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was one of my first video games for my Nintendo 64 back in the early 2000s. The game let the player be the skater. The games kept coming, each new version with a bit more features than the last and with original storylines of “making it” as a legit professional skateboarder.

Photo by Zachary DeBottis on Pexels.com

There is one major life lesson I learned by playing all of these Tony Hawk skating video games:

When you don’t know what you’re doing, you just have to jump into the air and try different things until you figure something out.

Literally, this was my method for every game until I figured out what each button did separately. But in all seriousness, this is good life advice.

Most of us have no clue what we’re doing – in careers, relationships, or life in general. Many make the mistake of trying to “fake it” and pretend to know what’s going on and others are too afraid to ever step outside of their normal bubble.

Instead, how about trying to live life like a Tony Hawk Pro Skater game? Go out and screw things up, try something new and completely suck at it, or attempt everything in sight until an activity clicks with your soul.

Photo by Mong Mong on Pexels.com

The more you go up in the air and experiment with buttons, the more you’ll learn and grow as a person. Or in life terms – the more leaps of faith you take, the more your skills and experiences will augment your soul.

You’ll never know what your true passion is until you experiment with all kinds of pursuits. In the end, there’s going to be that one or those few moves in life that just feel so perfect. Those moments when you think to yourself, “This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”

That’s what Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater taught me – try out everything and eventually something is going to make sense.

On a musical note, THPS also accustomed me to a lot of old punk music. I still love punk music, twenty years after this video game. Thanks, THPS.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you go out and press all the buttons there are to be pushed on your heart – because then, maybe you’ll find where you’re supposed to be.

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