A baby nine-banded armadillo
makes its way along the roadside near Launch Pad 39A where Space Shuttle Endeavour waits for launch on mission STS-118. Introduced to Florida in the early 1900s, this species is found statewide in areas with dense ground cover and sandy soil. Nine bands of plates cover the body from shoulder to hip and 12 bands cover the long tail. It has a small, tapered head and snout and a long tongue. Its ears are long and hairless. and it has sparse white hairs on its belly. Its diet is composed of insects, especially beetles, and other invertebrates plus some plant foods such as junipers and beautyberries. It is primarily nocturnal, sedentary, solitary and a burrower. It digs a series of dens with multiple entrances usually protected by stumps, palmettos or trees. KSC shares a boundary with the Merritt Island Wildlife Nature Refuge. The refuge is a habitat for more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles.