Home to the Armadillo

Home to the Armadillo


Texas is covered with armadillos. And not just on the roads, either. Because of this, we at Austin City Links are dedicating this page to the importance of armadillos (specifically, the nine-banded variety).

Armadillo Facts

Family: Dasypodidae
Order: Edentata
Other Names: Varmint, Critter, @$&%*#!, Dinsdale
Close Relatives: Sloths, anteaters, bureaucrats
Range: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana through Florida, Mexico, and South America
Average Weight: 7 - 9 lbs
Predators: Bobcats, wolves, coyotes, large trucks

Armadillos don't see well. They don't hear well, either. But they do have long, sharp claws, and they have been known to eat lawyers. The armadillo may well be the best-loved animal in Austin.

Armadillos in Austin

The Armadillo World Headquarters was once the hottest club in Austin, and it's still quite a legend around these parts. It consisted of a large auditorium and Biergarten, and the inside walls were decorated with large murals of local musical heroes/heroines festooned with armadillos, all by artist Jim Franklin. The cutting table in the kitchen featured casework made from the pine benches of the Vulcan Gas Company, another legendary Austin club. All sorts of people played there, ranging from Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker to folks like Frank Zappa, Kraftwerk, and Roxy Music. The Armadillo was located at the corner of South 1st Street and Barton Springs Road, but the land was bought out in the 1980's and is now home to a highrise bank building.

Armadillos are so popular in Austin, that they even have a convention named for them. ArmadilloCon is Austin's local science fiction convention, and they never fail to have a great T-Shirt with an armadillo on it.

'Dillos are also used to get around downtown Austin for free. (They're not really armadillos, just these green trolley-looking things.)

Armadillo Jokes

Feel free to tell us some more.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To show the armadillo that it could be done.

Q: How many [your favorite group to slander] does it take to eat an armadillo?
A: Three: one to eat it, and two to watch for cars.

Other Things that Infringe on the Armadillo's Trademark

The Armadillo Lizard
This is little lizard, about 10 inches long, that rolls on its back and tucks its tail in its mouth when things get tough. It has hard scales and spines on its head and tail, so the idea is that it resembles an armadillo. Fat chance.
The families Armadillididae and Armadillidae
Now, you would think that these scientific classifications would refer to armadillos. But no, they refer to crustaceans. Little crustaceans, like roly-polys or pill bugs or whatever you want to call them. This is science for you. Where's the logic here? Call the armadillos armadillidae. And worse, they couldn't make up their mind which term to use. Pick one, guys. And give it to the armadillos.
The Armadillada
In 1588, Spain set out in a bunch of boats to attack England with armadillos.

Other Armadillos

Armadillo World Headquarters Posters
Armadillo Trivia Quiz
Armadillo Fact File
Giant Armadillo
 
 
 

Special thanks to Winston Taylor and Jim Gibson for their memories of the Armadillo World Headquarters.

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