Caught on Camera
The notoriously camera-shy giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) has finally stepped into the spotlight—Brazilian researchers recently captured the first ever pictures of a baby giant armadillo.
One of the world's most elusive animals, almost nothing is known about giant armadillos, which are found throughout South America.
They're "very rare," Arnaud Desbiez, coordinator of the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project and regional conservation coordinator for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said in an email.
For instance, Desbiez has trekked over 1,242 miles (2,000 kilometers) of Brazil's Pantanal region (map), one of the world's largest tropical wetlands, and has never spotted a single armadillo—until now. (See another picture of a giant armadillo spotted in Peru in 2008.)
Camera traps first spotted a male armadillo visiting burrows left behind by a female in early 2012. Romance soon bloomed and that male and female armadillo were photographed sharing a burrow. Five months later, pictures showed the distinctive nose of a baby emerging from the burrow.
"Documenting the birth of a giant armadillo is an exciting step forward [in] helping us better understand the biology and reproduction of this cryptic species," Desbiez said.
Pictures: Baby Giant Armadillo Photographed—A First
Brazilian researchers recently captured the first-ever pictures of a baby giant armadillo.