This armoured mammal was once widespread in the tropical forests and grasslands east of the Andes, from Venezuela to Argentina. The largest of the armadillos, it can grow up to 1.5 m (5 ft.) in length including the tail, and weigh an average of 25 kg (58 lb.). Giant armadillos feed primarily on termites, but ants, other insects, spiders, worms, snakes and carrion also form parts of their diet.
Survival of this species is endangered. The giant armadillo seems to have become scarce everywhere within its range because of hunting and the loss of its habitat to human settlement and agriculture.