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On Mon, 20 Nov 1995 dwn194@soton.ac.uk wrote:

> An interesting area (armadillos) - in reading around for this, I had a
> couple of people tell me that armadillos couldn't swim! The main idea is
> that they are too heavy - an argument that has also (laughably - but
> seriously!) been directed at elephants! Anyhow, armadillos have a higher
> specific gravity than water, and sink. This isn't a problem - they are
> adapted for burrowing and rely on anaerobic respiration more than
> 'average' - they can hold their breath for rediculously long amounts of
> time (as Steve says). So, down they sink to the bottom, and then trot
> along  on the river/lake bed. This is slow, however, and sometimes they 
> seem to prefer surface swimming. The method bu which they achieve this is
> fascinating, and succinct. They 'swallow' air, inflating their stomachs 
> and guts, and can then float on the surface. I've also been told that they 
> then
> re-cycle this air as it leaves the gut, to aid in a primitive form of
> jet propulsion.. but I'm perhaps a little dubious of this suggestion.

        I remember seeing a documentry on armadillos on PBS?? One scene I 
remember, an armadillo swimming across a swamp and then it was 
attacked by an alligator. The armadillo practically ran on the water out 
of the jaws of the alligator. I would say that they swim very well. 

> "Jack - I know how you feel"

Aaron Feuk
Preparator,Dept. of Earth Sciences
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Wa, 98447
e-mail: feukac@plu.edu