About 10 extant genera and 20 extant species of armadillo have been described, some of which are distinguished by the number of bands on their armor. Their average length is about 75 cm including tail. The giant armadillo grows up to 150 cm and weighs up to 59 kg dwhile the pink fairy armadillo is a diminutive species, with an overall length of 12 to 15 cm . All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of environments.
Like all other xenarthran lineages, armadillos originated in South America. Due to the continent's former isolation, they were confined there for most of the Cenozoic. The recent formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed a few members of the family to migrate northward into southern North America by the early Pleistocene, as part of the Great American Interchange.Some of their much larger cingulate relatives, the pampatheres and glyptodonts, made the same journey.d