Three-banded armadillo

Ark of taste
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Quirquincho bola

There are many types of armadillo (Dasypodidae family) and all but one of these can be found in Latin America. They are most commonly referred to as armadillos – meaning ‘little armored one’ in Spanish, which pays homage to the elaborate shell that covers them – but there are a host of other names, depending on the region and species. Three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) is also well known as quirquincho bola in Argentina. It is here that the armadillo is celebrated for its delicious meat, which is roasted simply over a campfire. The consumption of the quirquincho bola is an especially important part of the traditional diet of Santiago del Estero. Formerly the Argentinean Armadillo dwelt south of the province of Buenos Aires but recent data indicates that the animal is now extinct in that area. Today the animal resides in the north east of the country in the provinces Chaco, Salta, Tucumán and Santiago del Estero.Like the other variants, this specie of armadillo has a rather elongated snout and a well-developed tail. Its round body is encased in a rigid shell, which is usually divided into three articulated covers. Contrary to popular belief, not all armadillos can enfold themselves in this exterior – in fact only the three-banded armadillo can. In the event of danger the animal joins its head to its tail and becomes a compact ball that is impenetrable to most predators. The quirquincho tends to live in forests, grasslands and savannas. As it is less of a digger than other breeds it generally inhabits caves that have been already dug out by other animals. To obtain food it uses its claws to open termite mounds, anthills or logs – where spiders, insects, and larvae can all be found. It also eats fruits, seeds and plants during the rainy season. Nutritionally it boasts a moderate concentration of fat, especially in comparison to bovine meat. It also has good protein levels and is low in carbohydrates, while its energy value remains higher than that of beef.

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Graciela Di Benedetto Puerto