Variations: Aiotochth, Aiochtochth, Armato, Contexto, Tatus
Ayotochtli, “tortoise-rabbit”, is Nahuatl for armadillo. Two somewhat mangled forms of the word appears in Topsell’s work.
Topsell attributes the description of the Aiochtochth or Aiotochth (also known in Spanish as Armato and Contexto) to Cardanus. It is found in Mexico, near the Alvaradus River. An aiotochth is no bigger than a cat and has the snout of a mallard, the feet of a hedgehog, and a very long neck. It is covered by a segmented, lobster-like shell resembling the trappings of a horse. It protects itself with that shell such that neither its head nor neck are clearly visible, with only the ears sticking out. Some of these creatures were brought back to London gardens where they were put to use destroying worms.
The entry for the aiochtochth immediately follows that of the Tatus or Armadillo, and Topsell claims they are comparable.
Topsell, E. (1658) The History of Four-footed Beasts. E. Cotes, London.
Tylor, E. B. (1861) Anahuac, or Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, London.