A living fossil, the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) has historically been an animal known more through anecdote than through science. Despite ranging over much of South America, it has always had low population densities and thus is rarely seen. Its cryptic behavior and nocturnal tendencies easily leads to myth and misconception.
The giant armadillo is one of the largest of the species represented by the PAX TAG– measuring 150 cm (nearly 5 ft.) in length and weighing up to 60 kilograms (over 130 lbs.)— truly a giant compared to other living armadillos. It is hunted for meat, run over by cars, and killed on sight out of superstition. Now absent from much of its southern range, the species is listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act and considered Vulnerable by the IUCN.
Giant armadillos are supported in situ by the PAX TAG. There are no plans to bring this species into TAG-managed zoological collections.