Description Near the shores of Lake Tarpon in the palmettos it is not uncommon to see a nine-banded armadillo, like this one. Armadillos are not blind, but they do have poor eyesight. They rely on their ears and noses more than their eyes to detect food or predators. If you are close to an armadillo, and you stay quiet and stand still, the chances of it not noticing you are there are fairly good. Armadillos are an amazing group of animals that originated in South America. Like humans, they are mammals. An armadillo is neither a rodent nor a marsupial, and are not related to the opossum. There are twenty different species of armadillos. Their closest living relatives are sloths and anteaters. The most easily recognized feature of an armadillo is its shell. All armadillos have shells, made of true bone, that cover their backs. Most armadillos also have bony rings or plates that protect their tails. In a world that is losing its biodiversity at an alarming rate, every animal should be taken seriously, not just as a part of the world we share but as a reservoir of genetic information that could be invaluable in the future. People seem to have a tendency to save only the cute animals, but each one is as important as any other. There are quite a few armadillos in the United States and Mexico. However, all of these animals represent only one species of armadillo, the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). This is only one of about twenty kinds of armadillo, and several of the others are endangered. The pink fairy armadillo (Chlamyphoras truncatus) is restricted to several small arid regions of South America, and the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) has been hunted extensively both as a food source and as an agricultural pest.
I.M. Spadecaller, Tampa Bay Member Since March 2010 Artist Statement Matthew Schwartz (AKA Spadecaller) is a grateful survivor who conveys his convictions and serenity through visual art, poetry, and video.
As a child, he was trained in traditional oil techniques and later attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City (1970-71). During the 70's up until the late 80's he exhibited acrylic and oils in New York, and presently resides on the west coast of Florida.
Since the advent of image editing software, he has turned more to creative digital hand painted images and photos striving to fuse these into an art form worthy of the distinction traditional painters deserve.
Spadecaller showcase his digital paintings, poetry, and other mixed media images by creating videos; these are available for viewing at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Thespadecaller.