31 May 2005

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

Apologies to Loudon Wainwright III.....
I'm not gonna discuss Skunks, but Armadillos!

When Ole Prairie Dog and Greybeard were going to
Primary Flight School in Mineral Wells, TX.,
(Miserable Gulch to those of us training there),
it was not abnormal to observe a dead Armadillo about every 50 feet alongside the road on a normal cross-country drive.

Later, on drives in Florida and Southern Alabama, we encountered them too.

The Armadillos' natural defense against enemies dooms them when they meet with autos. Encountering a predator, they jump straight up two or three feet, and then beat a retreat while their opponent is trying to recover from this strange behavior.

When a car passes over them on the road, the "straight up jump" is followed by a "thump" and a tumble down the road at speeds faster than they have ever gone in their lives, resulting in dead Armadillo alongside the road!

On a drive North of Birmingham last month, I was surprised to see Armadillo carcasses alongside the road! Conventional wisdom was that they wouldn't be able to withstand cold temperatures North of Southern Alabama!

A quick google check turned up this site, which I found interesting:


They eat fire ants?

Next time I'll swerve a little harder to avoid passing over one!

Illinois? Are you kidding?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite things to do growing up in Texas was to take an empty beer can and affix it in the arms of the upside down armadillo so that it looked like he was kicked back enjoying a cold Lone Star or Pearl Lite or whatever poor college Freshmen could afford that week