Chaetophractus nationi is endemic to Bolivia and northern Chile, in the Andes mountain range. (Yensen et al, 1994)
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )
Head and body length reaches 220 to 400 mm and the tail length is 90 to 175 mm. The head shield is 60 mm long and 60 mm wide. This armadillo has 18 dorsal bands, 8 of which are movable. (Nowak, 1999) Unlike other armadillos, Chaetophractus nationi has hair between the majority of its sclaes, and is completely covered on its legs and underside. Color varies from yellowish to light brown. As with other Dasypodids, the teeth are not covered in enamel, and grow continuously. Body temperature is regulated somewhat ectothermically, and burrows are used to cool down in the summer. (Yensen et al, 1994)
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Average mass: 2150 g.
Average basal metabolic rate: 3.118 W.
Chaetophractus nationi lives in grasslands at high altitudes, in an ecosystem called the Puna. (Montgomery, 1985)
Average elevation: 3500 m.
Habitat Regions: temperate
Terrestrial Biomes: mountains
Chaetophractus nationi is omnivorous, eating some small vertebrates, many insects, and some vegetation. (Greegor 1980)
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; eggs; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Plant Foods: roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit
Primary Diet: omnivore
May limit harmful insect populations. (Montgomery 1985)
Ecosystem Impact: soil aeration
The bony plates of armour that surround this animal's body serve as protection from predators. (Nixon, 2000)
- humans (Homo sapiens)
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Status: captivity: 20 (high) years.
Status: wild: 12 to 16 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Chaetophractus nationi is solitary, with males and females only coming together for mating purposes.
Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)
After mating in the fall, females are pregnant for two months before giving birth to a litter of two. After birth, an individual immediately develops epidermal scales that eventually harden and join to form armor plates. Each infant is fully dependent on its mother until weaning, which occurs at about 50 days. Young rely heavily on their mothers for almost a month until they develop adult teeth and begin to forage. Sexual maturity is reached at about nine months. (Grzimek, 1990)
Breeding season: Fall
Average number of offspring: 2.
Average gestation period: 2 months.
Average weaning age: 50 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 9 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 9 months.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External )
Average number of offspring: 1.5.
The female is solely responsible for parental care in this species.
Parental Investment: female parental care
Chaetophractus nationi is so endangered that CITES has issued a no import/export policy for trade of this species. (1996 IUCN Red List)
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
In Bolivia and Chile, Andean Hairy Armadillos have been used for meat, musical instruments, decorations, good luck charms, and medicine for rheumatism. (Yensen et al, 1994)
Positive Impacts: food ; source of medicine or drug
Andean hairy armadillo
The Andean hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus nationi) is an armadillo present in Bolivia, in the region of the Puna, the departments of Oruro, La Paz, and Cochabamba (Gardner, 1993). Nowark (1991) describes it as distributed in Bolivia and northern Chile. A recent publication of Pacheco (1995) also locates the species in Peru, basically in Puno Region. It is also thought to be present in northern Argentina.
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