I enjoy the outdoors. My family and I were fortunate enough to go hiking in the Muddy Creek Wetlands Management Area. I have lived in Mobile, AL almost my entire life (most of it within 6 miles of Muddy Creek) but had never heard of it until my wife and kids went on a field trip there. It is a great place to get some exercise and be out in nature.
In nature, there are animals. Some animals are cute and cuddly and some would rather eat, bite, or otherwise harm you than look at you. Some animals are all around us but we never see them. Along the trails at the Muddy Creek Wetlands Management Area there are a variety of animal tracks to identify and learn about. If you are lucky, you might even see a live critter that is stranger than the common birds or squirrels. You might see….. an armadillo.
I like armadillos. Not sure why. I have been interested in them enough to be fascinated with any product made in their image. I have a pewter armadillo, one made of glass, a Beanie Baby armadillo, etc. I am not obsessed with them, but I am fascinated. That leads me to the common practice of their identification. I am no scientist, but I have come up with my own armadillo classification system.
My system for classifying armadillos is fairly simple. There are no in-depth examinations needed, no books to reference. There are only a few questions needed:
- Is the armadillo walking around?
- Is the armadillo in one piece?
There are three types of armadillos: Type I, Type II, and (you guessed it) Type III. The definitions of the types are as follows:
- Type I – Armadillo is up walking around. This type is the most rare and sought after by the amateur armadillo watchers
- Type II – Armadillo is stationary, in one piece, and often found on the side of the road. This type is more common than the Type I and has been seen posed with a bottle
- Type III – Armadillo is flat, often in more than one piece, and sometimes mistaken for raccoons, opossums, and other flat critters
So, how do you tell what type of armadillo you have spotted? Ask yourself the questions. Is the armadillo walking around? if Yes – Type I, if No, go to question two: Is the armadillo in one piece? if Yes – Type II, if No, Type III. Simple, to the point, efficient. When I tell my wife I just saw a Type I armadillo, she understands. She may not believe me (remember, they are rare) but she understands. Still not sure, check out this video that explains it all.
We all have our funny little quirks. They are what makes life memorable. So the next time you see an armadillo:
Is it walking around?
Is it in one piece?
What type of armadillo did you just see?
UPDATE: See the exciting video explanation for armadillo classification