Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Yes, they can: three-banded armadillos Tolypeutes sp. (Cingulata: Dasypodidae) dig their own burrows

Attias, NinaMiranda, Flávia RSena, Liana M. MTomas, Walfrido MMourão, Guilherme M

It is believed that the two species of Tolypeutes Illiger, 1811are the only armadillos that do not dig their own burrows, and that these species simply re-use burrows dug by other species. Here, we show that Tolypeutes matacus (Desmarest, 1804) and Tolypeutes tricinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) dig their own burrows. We describe the burrows and three other types of shelters used by them, and provide measurements and frequency of use of the different types of shelter. We have studied free-ranging individuals of T. matacus in two locations in Central Brazil and individuals of T. tricinctus in semi-captivity in the Northeast of Brazil. Individuals of T. matacus were found primarily in small burrows (76%), straw nests (13%), shallow depressions covered with leaf-litter (7%) or in straw nests made on shallow depressions (4%). Adult males and females of T. matacus did not differ in frequency of use of different types of shelter. Sub-adults T. matacus used shallow depressions and nests more often (40%) than adults (22%) and nurslings (10%). Nurslings of T. matacus reused the shelters more frequently (66%), than sub-adults (46%) and adults (35%). Adult females reused burrows and other types of shelter more frequently than adult males. Tolypeutes tricinctus rested mainly in burrows and under leaf-litter, but did not dig depressions or build nests. Tolypeutes tricinctus occasionally used burrows dug by Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758), but T. matacus never used burrows dug by other species. Nursling T. matacus always shared shelter with an adult female therefore, both used shelters with similar frequency. Adult females and nurslings of T. matacus reused shelters in higher frequency. That can be explained by the fact that adult females with offspring tend to remain for consecutive nights in the same burrow when cubs are recently born. Due to their smaller body size, sub-adult T. matacus used shelter strategies that require less energetic effort more frequently than...(AU)

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