Quirquincho is a regional term for the armadillo living in the province of La Rioja.
Those local armadillos are much smaller than their fellows in the most northern regions of Argentina are.
We had our first encounter with these little animals on a cold winter eve when we watched some boys playing football by kicking this animal curled up like a ball . They were proud to present their toy to us.
When later we were searching for a name for our project this event came to our minds so that we started learning more about this animals characteristics
Here is some of the information we gathered
The armadillo exclusively lives on the American continent, especially in Southern America (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay).
Even if it looks rather inflexible and stiff this little animal in fact is incredibly agile.
For sleeping, it buries itself into the ground. Whenever there is a threat the armadillo in a second forms a little ball to protect itself.
The armadillo is one of the endangered species since their natural habitat is constantly minimized by men. Also in South America the armadillo’s meat is very popular and it is therefore hunted a lot.
In addition to that, its shell is used to make a guitar-like instrument called “El Charango”. Export of these from the producing countries Bolivia and Peru is banned
Thanks to its low body temperature the quirquincho is – the only living creature - able to live with the bacteria of leprosy without suffering any negative effects.
Because of this it plays an important role in research for new vaccines.