In the past 30 years, more armadillos have been sighted in the Tennessee Valley, including here in Chattanooga. Biologist Dr. Timothy Gaudin says there are more armadillos in the Chattanooga area because there are fewer predators.
"We now have reports in Tennessee from 47 of the 95 counties in the state," states Gaudin.
Armadillos are mammals. They like warm, wet climates, which could be one reason they're thriving in Tennessee. Dr. Gaudin studies armadillos and has learned they can adapt.
"We thought for a long time that they were going to be limited by cold, but we now know that they actually change their behavior to adapt to the cold," adds Gaudin
You'll likely see them more during the day searching for food -- when it's warmer.
In 1950 the yearly average temperature in Chattanooga was 60 degrees. In 2015 the average temperature was 62, and last year it was 64. Year to date, the average temperature is 66. The warming temperatures could be a good indicator of more sightings to come.
If you see an armadillo, Gaudin asks for your help and send him a report to help in his research at Timothy-Gaudin@utc.edu.
Have a weather story? Feel free to send an idea to Meteorologist Brittany Beggs, email@example.com.