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Volume 81, Issue 3


Yellow armadillos (Euphractus sexcinctus) can predate on vertebrates as large as a chicken

Vania Cristina Foster
  • Corresponding author
  • Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, 79070-900 Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil
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/ Grasiela Porfirio
  • Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Ambientais e Sustentabilidade Agropecuária, Universidade Católica Dom Bosco, 79117-900 Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil
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/ Diego Viana
  • Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, 79070-900 Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil
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/ Pedro Sarmento
  • Departamento de Biologia e CESAM – Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Laboratório de Vida Selvagem, 3810-193, Campus de Santiago, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
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/ Erich Fischer
  • Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, 79070-900 Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil
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Published Online: 2016-05-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0002


Food habits of yellow armadillos have been reported to include mainly plant material and invertebrates. Although predation on medium vertebrates is unexpected, yellow armadillos present strategies to subjugate medium vertebrates. Here, we report events of predation upon domestic chickens by yellow armadillos in the Brazilian Pantanal. We installed 20 Tomahawk traps, each baited with one live chicken to capture felines and, throughout 15 days of trapping, we captured two yellow armadillos. Both killed the chickens and ate most of them. These events represent a new uppermost limit of prey size for yellow armadillos.

Keywords: armadillos; Dasypodidae; food habit; Pantanal; predation; xenarthrans


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About the article

Received: 2016-01-06

Accepted: 2016-04-06

Published Online: 2016-05-11

Published in Print: 2017-05-01

Funding Source: Fundação de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento do Ensino, Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul

Funding Source: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico

Award identifier / Grant number: 23/200.652/2013

Award identifier / Grant number: 311001/2012-2

Thanks are due to H. Concone for help during fieldwork, to A.M. Abba for sharing his knowledge with us and comments on early drafts of the manuscript, to the San Francisco Hotel Ranch for logistical support, and to the Instituto Homem Pantaneiro for the Tomahawk traps and overall provisions. VCF was supported by a scholarship grant from Fundação de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento do Ensino, Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul (23/200.652/2013) and EF by research grant from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (311001/2012-2).

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 81, Issue 3, Pages 319–322, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0002.

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