The Foxy Armadillos
January 2017 by V. R. Duin


For weeks, the 'dillos life was swell,
But things don't always go so well.
The fox came back to claim his den.
How could the armadillos win?
(“The Foxy Armadillos” )

With “The Foxy Armadillos” , some unusual landlubbers join the Little Ray collection of seafaring books for children.

Plank-walkin' good! In pirate talk, armadillos would not be pleased to hear themselves dubbed “landlubbers”. They would tell every seafarer to learn the word 'dillos and include it in pirate talk. Armadillos do great under water, so they should never be considered out of place in Little Ray's collection of seafaring books for children. Armadillos can hold their breath for six minutes, while walking under water. Much as fish inflate their swim bladders for buoyancy, this unique mammal can inflate its intestines to add buoyancy as it paddles across water.

Shiver me timbers! Female armadillos produce one egg that splits into four identical offspring. For preservation of the species, this egg also can be put on hold, while the mother awaits a favorable season or time for it to grow and develop. Imagine the advantage of delaying the arrival of offspring until survival opportunities are at their best. This ability may help these amazing creatures colonize new areas. A mother armadillo can keep the weight of her future offspring at a minimum until she resettles.

Blimey! Armadillos also have a unique technique for separation of the sexes. Each pup born in an armadillo litter is of the same sex as the others. They are fully developed at birth, but their armor is soft. In Spanish the name means “little armored one”. Armadillos originated in Latin America, where Spanish is widely spoken. However, these cat-sized animals are now widely distributed and considered naturalized in the United States of America. Aargh Matey! Yer gonna love these animals! Get it? Heave ho! Aye, ye better or ye be walkin' the plank! Yo Ho Ho! Avast Ye! Ye better add 'dillo to yer pirate talk.

  • Pirate Terms and Phrases

    • landlubbers admin says:

      Landlubbers is used by nautical types to describe someone who is unfamiliar with the sea.

    • seafaring books for children admin says:

      Little Ray teaches children a lot about the nautical world in his seafaring books for children.

      • armadillosadmin says:

        Pirate talk generally does not include armadillos, because few pirates see these nocturnal land animals.