What’s the fastest an armadillo can run?

Armadillos can attain speeds of 30 miles per hour despite their heavily armoured and ponderous look. In truth, most armadillo species, including the common nine-banded armadillo, rely on fleeing to protect themselves from predators rather than curling up into a ball.

As a major protection against predators, a scared armadillo will often run into a nearby hole, necessitating their fast sprinting speed. When moving away to a hiding area isn’t an option, their distinctive shells serve as a backup defence. The three-banded armadillo is the only armadillo that uses its shell as a main defence. Instead of running, it will curl up so tightly that its shell completely encloses its body.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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