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9 Animals With Armor (With Pictures)

When you think of animals with armor, what comes to mind? For many people, the first animals that come to mind are armadillos. Armadillos are well-known for their hard shells that protect them from predators. However, they are not the only animals that have armor.

In fact, there are a variety of animals that have evolved some type of armor, ranging from hard shells to tough scales. This armor protects them from harm, helping them to survive in the wild and avoid being eaten by predators.

Animals With Armor

There are many animals in the world with armor. From the hardshell of an armadillo to the tough scales of a crocodile, below are 9 animals with armor that will surprise you.

1. Alligators and Crocodiles

saltwater crocodile on bank
Estuarine / Saltwater Crocodile | image by Djambalawa via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific Name:  Crocodilia

These large reptiles are found in tropical regions around the world. They are known for their long, muscular bodies and tough, scaly skin. Both alligators and crocodiles have a unique type of skin that helps to protect them from predators and the elements.

The outer layer of their skin is covered in hard scales, which are made of keratin – the same protein that makes up human nails and hair. Underneath the scales is a layer of softer tissue, which helps the crocodile to stay hydrated and flexible.

This skin type is also highly resistant to infection, making it an ideal defense against bacteria and parasites. Thanks to their tough skin, crocodiles can live for many years in hostile environments.

2. Armadillos

Screaming hairy armadillo
Screaming hairy armadillo | image by Terry Robinson via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Dasypodidae

Armadillos are small mammals that are found in the Americas. They are best known for their hard shells, which protect them from predators. The shell of an armadillo is made up of two parts: the carapace, which covers the back, and the platyopygium, which covers the belly.

Both of these parts are covered in hard, bony plates, which help to deflect predators’ claws and teeth. Armadillos also have a layer of tough skin on their backs, which helps to protect them from scratches and bites.

3. Pangolins

Image: AJT Johnsingh / CC by SA 4.0 / Wikicommons

Scientific Name: Pholidota

Pangolins are small mammals that are found in Africa and Asia. They are best known for their hard scales, which cover their bodies and help to protect them from predators such as lions and tigers. These large, overlapping scales are made of keratin. The scales are also very tough and can help deflect predators’ claws and teeth.

Pangolins are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are most active at night, looking for food. Their diet consists mostly of ants and termites, which they eat using their long tongues. Pangolins can also climb trees easily, thanks to their sharp claws.

Unfortunately, pangolins are now considered one of the world’s most endangered animals due to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Their scales are highly prized in some cultures, and they are often killed for their meat. Pangolins are also sometimes captured and sold as pets.

4. Tortoise

Scientific Name: Testudinidae

The tortoise is an iconic creature known for its slow movements and hard shell. There are many different species of tortoise found worldwide, from the deserts of Africa to the rainforests of South America. Each species has a different type of shell, adapted to its specific environment.

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For example, desert tortoises have shells that are light in color, helping them to reflect heat and stay cool in their hot habitat. Conversely, rainforest tortoises have darker shells that help absorb heat and blend in with the shadows of the forest floor.

No matter their environment, all tortoises share one key trait: their hard shells provide protection from predators and the elements. As a result, the tortoise is an incredibly resilient creature that has survived for millions of years.

5. The Indian Rhino

Indian rhinoceros
Indian rhinoceros | Image by G.C. from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Rhinoceros unicornis

The Indian rhinoceros, also known as the greater one-horned rhinoceros, is a large mammal native to the Indian subcontinent. The Indian rhino is the largest of the three Asian rhinoceros species and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

The species is threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching. There are estimated to be fewer than 3,500 Indian rhinos remaining in the wild.

This giant rhino has skin that’s three times as thick as human skin. This tough hide is further protected by a series of folds in the skin, which helps to deflect blows from predators.

The Indian Rhino is also equipped with a single sharp horn made of keratin that can grow up to 20 inches in length, which they use to great effect against any would-be attacker.

6. Komodo Dragons

Scientific Name: Varanus komodoensis

The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard in the world. It is found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, and Flores. The dragon gets its name from the island of Komodo, where it was first discovered by Westerners in 1910. The lizard can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 150 pounds.

Komodo dragons have scaly skin that ranges in color from tan to dark brown. They also have long, sharp claws and a forked tongue. The skin of the Komodo dragon is covered with venom glands.

When the lizard bites its prey, the venom causes paralysis and internal bleeding. As the prey dies, the dragon begins to feed. It will devour every last scrap of flesh, including bones and teeth. Fortunately, their venom is not deadly to humans. However, it can cause severe pain and swelling.

7. Turtles

Red Eared Slider
Red Eared Slider by Светлана from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Testudines

All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Many turtles are closely related to tortoises and share many of the same characteristics. Like tortoises, these turtles have hard shells that protect them from predators and the elements. They also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the species.

One of the most notable differences between tortoises and the rest of the turtles is that turtles can swim. This is due to their flippers, which help them move through the water with ease.

Turtles also tend to have shorter lifespans than tortoises, with most species only living for 20-30 years. Some tortoises, like the eastern box turtle, have been known to live well over 100 years.

8. Thorny Devil

Thorny devil

Scientific Name: Moloch horridus

The Thorny devil, or Moloch horridus, is an amazing Australian lizard with a unique way of defending itself from predators. This creature has a body covered in large, sharp spines. When threatened, the thorny devil will curl up into a ball, making it impossible for predators to get ahold of it.

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The Thorny devil is also able to change its color to match its surroundings, making it even harder for predators to spot. This lizard gets its name from the thorns on its back, which are modified scales. The thorny devil is the only known animal with this type of defense mechanism.

Despite their intimidating appearance, thorny devils are actually quite harmless to humans. They are shy creatures that prefer to stay out of sight.

9. Spiny Starfish

spiny cushion starfish | image by Ryan Somma via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Marthasterias glacialis

The Spiny Starfish is a unique creature that is easily recognized by its rows of spines or thorns on its five arms. These spines not only provide protection from predators but also help the starfish to move through the water.

The Spiny Starfish is found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. It prefers to live on coral reefs, where there are plenty of hiding places and food.

The Spiny Starfish has tough, leathery skin that is covered in tiny bumps. Underneath this skin, there is a layer of muscle and connective tissue.

This tough skin helps to protect the starfish from injury and infection. It feeds on algae, small animals, and dead fish. It uses its stomach to digest food and then excretes the waste through its mouth.