Thursday 22 September 2011

Rare creature caught on film

Rare giant armadillo photographed
By Ella Davies Reporter, BBC Nature
A rare giant armadillo has been caught on camera by researchers in the wetlands of central Brazil.Little is known about the mysterious mammals, which can reach 1.5m in length and weigh up to 50kg.In the past, the species' nocturnal, solitary lifestyles have posed a considerable challenge for scientists wishing to study them.    Little is known about giant armadillos but scientists have identified that their long claws are suitable for digging up termite mounds for food.    Unlike their smaller relatives, these large animals are unable to fully roll into a protective ball and so burrow to escape predators. At up to twice the size of more familiar species, giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus) are known to live in undisturbed forest near to water sources in South America.But the species have a patchy distribution and spend their days in underground burrows making confirmed sightings rare. esearchers from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) spent 10 weeks intensively searching for the elusive mammals in a region of the Pantanal, one of the world's largest wetlands spanning Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.Using cameras provided by Chester Zoo, the team were able to capture rare photographs of the animals.
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