Nine-banded armadillo.

This species is found in western Trans-Pecos portion of Texas and the east, although they can occasionally be located in the south, Missouri and South Carolina. Their natural habitat includes woods, brush, scrub and grassland.

Life cycle of the species- Describe the life cycle of the organism you have chosen. The life cycle of an organism refers to the series of changes in both development and growth from its beginnings as an independent life form up until maturity, when it is able to reproduce. Organisms like bacteria have relatively simple life cycles. however other organisms (e.g., plants) have very complex stages to their life cycle.

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Breeding in Nine-banded armadillo occurs in the summer. During this period the embryo is not implanted and remains like that until the 14 week following the mating season. Following the gestation period that lasts for four months, females almost at all times give birth to four identical young ones, all of the same sex. The young Armadillos are born with opened eyes and start walking after a few hours. Their skin is usually soft but gradually hardens as they grow older. They are nursed for the next two months although they continue staying with the mother for some couple of month even after being weaned. Breeding for the young armadillos of both sexes may start as early like summer after their birth, but only come to full sexual maturity after two years. Full growth and sexual maturity comes at age 3 -4. Typically, this species live for about 7-20 years in the wild but for the caged ones it may go up to about 23 years.

Structure and Function- Describe the structure and function of at least one major organ system of the species (e.g., digestive system, reproductive system). Choose one system and explain how this organisms system is structured anatomically and physiologically.

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