Armadillos spreading in East Tennessee - WSMV Channel 4

Armadillos spreading in East Tennessee

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The armadillo invasion of East Tennessee has gone more quickly than expected.

Timothy Gaudin, who is a biology professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, says the animals have been found at elevations of 1,988 feet in the Cumberland Plateau. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Gaudin has published a study with student S. Erich Eichler confirming the finding.

Gaudin said the finding is unusual - the creatures are typically found near streams.

Researchers predicted in 1996 that the armadillos' range would expand by an average of 4 miles a year. According to Gaudin and Eichler, the 9-banded armadillo that was first documented in East Tennessee in 2007, are about 200 miles ahead of schedule.

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