Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Flip Side Of Last Thursday's Post















" 'possum on the half shell"


This may actually be the 'dillo featured in last Thursday's post. It was lying on the paved road next to my mail box as I headed out for work early last Friday.

It's certainly not a "happy" picture, but it does give a good view of the fuzzy underside and excellent digging equipment of the armadillo. Dr. Archie Carr (my hero) once wrote about the lack of soil fauna in habitats colonized by the dillo. Apparently the armadillo (an exotic here) is pretty efficient at soil snuffling. So ... maybe it's not a totally unhappy picture either.

The only other way to see this underview, is to chase the armadillo like a crazy person until it finally attempts to go to ground, but not before you (again, like a crazy person) grab it by it's substantial tail and hoist it kicking and grunting into the air while exclaiming, " I got him! I got him!"

At least, this is what I've heard ...
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15 comments:

pissed off patricia said...

We now have one visiting our yard at night. He's making a mess of things as he tears up the grass. We don't really care if he's getting what he needs.

You mentioned Archie Carr. Wow, we too (Mr. Pop and I) are also fans of his. Mr Pop is a marine biologist and works with sea turtles. I wrote Mr Carr a letter of admiration just before his death. I received a sweet letter from his son telling me he read my letter to his dad.

We know several people who were students of Mr Carr. They say he was a wonderful teacher.

Laura said...

At the mention of Dr. Carr's name, I began to wonder...you used to be a park ranger, did you work at the Carr Wildlife refuge over near Melbourne? It's one place I've always wanted to see. The nearby (sorta) Washington Oaks State Park along the coast is another sea turtle refuge that I'd like to photograph one of these days!

And is there a video of you chasing the armadillo? LOL.

Deb said...

I didn't know armadillos were exotic around there. Where is their native range?

I've learned more lately from reading blogs than I ever did in college!

SophieMae said...

Now there's a nice mental image... chasing a diller to get a look at his belly. We had to trap one last year, coz it had set up house under ours and was tearing up our AC ducts.

DS and I have a long-running joke about squashed dillers. Ever notice, no matter how flat they are, those little ears are still sticking up? Unless they're downside up, of course.

Missourimadness said...

That's what you've heard, eh? I can JUST picture it!! HaHa!
But, poor dillo. I have heard they are pesky; only have seen them when visiting southern Missouri near Arkansas border around Norfork lake; have heard they have been seen this far up but don't know if it's true or not.

Floridacracker said...

POPatricia,
I loved his books, but never met him. He truly loved Florida, the real Florida.
I worked with Seaturtles while in the NPS. It was in the '80's and the trend was moving nests from at risk locations, to safer areas. Somewhere in these archives is a post or two about the program.

Laura,
I was farther up the coast but very close to Washington Oaks where I have spent ALOT of time. You have to get there and see the natural rock beach... pretty rare sight in FL.
Oh, and video cameras weren't around when I was a serious dillo chaser.


Deb,
Well, the legend is they escaped from a traveling road circus way, way back. They are a southwestern critter that got here with human help. Of course we did have giant armadillos here during the last ice age.

SophieMae,
We had one burrow under our outside Heat Pump units and I had to flood him out with the hose and then chase him to the neighbor's property ...heehee.

MoMadness,
Stopping the car, leaping out, and chasing a roadside armadillo was a late night pastime of my buddies and I during highschool.
I can't explain it.
Not so's it'd make sense anyway ...

Rurality said...

OK this is really strange. I just got home from my gardening meeting, where the topic of the program was... armadillos! (Cue the Twilight Zone music...)

I did learn that they can carry leprosy. Good thing there's not too much of that around I guess.

Deb said...

Giant armadillos...now that would be something to see! They would present a huge problem on highways...

kevin said...

Of course, the only good place to relocate a dillo was inside McDonalds on a Friday or Saturday night.

Floridacracker said...

Rurality,
Reading that leprosy fact in a National Geographic about 20 years ago put an end to my handling dillos.

Deb,
LOL, Cars would have to look completely different ... lots of clearance.

Kevin,
What were we thinking?

:)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

"possum on the half shell." You're so funny and I can't wait to show this to Jimmy.

I've never seen a live armadillo (in the wild) and certainly not it's underside. They do have some large claws don't they.

Hey wait...I just realized that it's not a possum on a half shell.

Hick said...

Why, oh why did I "click to make the picture larger"?

For some reason this picture reminds me of the movie "Independence Day".

Floridacracker said...

Sandy,
Many people have never seen a LIVE dillo since the most often view is flattened road pizzadillo.

Hick,
??? ...thinking ....

threecollie said...

FC, sounds to me like southern folks love your half shell type possums about like we do the real thing up here in the north. Northern shell-less possums love our back porch and Liz is terrified of them. It is a not uncommon phenomenon to hear pierching shrieks, followed by the need to mount an expedition to get her down off the top of the trash can should one show up to partake of cat food.

Hurricane Teen said...

I think one of these guys stole some of my satsumas.