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The pink fairy armadillo is a really interesting animal. It lives in South America, especially in Argentina. What is special about the cute animal is its small size. The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest armadillo in the world. Weighing only 120 grams and having a maximum length of 12 centimeters, the little mammal can fit in our palm without problems. Its life span is 4 to 10 years. Also, the pink fairy armadillo is the only species of armadillo whose shell is not completely glued to the body.
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The pink fairy armadillo, Chlamyphorus truncatus, or Pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo. They are mammals that are part of the Dasypodidae family, the Edentata order, known especially because of their shield-shaped bone shell.
It can be found in central areas of Argentina and North America, preferring wetlands with grass or sandy places with spiked bushes and cacti. Although it generally moves very slowly, when in danger it withdraws its body in just a few seconds. The armor works like a plug that closes the entrance to the shell.
What does a pink fairy armadillo eat?
They are omnivores, which means they eat meat and plants, although 90% of the diet of an armadillo is made of insects and larvae. With their long, sticky tongue, they catch ants, cockroaches, termites, and other insects after they get them out of the ground. The pink armadillo builds small nests in the ground near the ant anthills, as they are their favorite food. Occasionally they eat worms, snakes, insects, and larvae, and rarely root plants.
Features of the pink armadillo
Closely related to aardvarks and sloths, these little creatures with armor generally have a sharp or shovel-shaped muzzle and small eyes. The specimens of this species are only 90-115 mm long, excluding the tail, weigh about 120 grams, and their predominant color is pink. The body is provided with a white coat that covers the face and sides and stretches on both sides of the shell. The pink armadillo is distinguished from other species in that it is the only one whose shell does not cover the dorsal part of the body.
The eyes and ears of this mammal are small and the nose is sharp. The tail is immobile, so when it moves, it actually drags it to the ground, which causes its movement to be slowed down.
Reproduction of pink armadillo
Females of this species lay a single egg from which four identical offspring, in appearance and gender, always come out. They develop in the same placenta and are generically called puppies or pups.
The number of pink armadillo specimens has declined significantly in recent times, being affected by habitat destruction and their main enemies, domestic dogs.
They dig their tunnels near the anthills
Being very shy, fairy armadillo leads a lonely and nocturnal life. It spends most of its time under the ground in the tunnels which it can quickly dig with its paws. During the night, it comes to the surface to feed. Its main sources of food are ants, larvae, and snails. To ease its work, the little pink armadillo makes sure its tunnels are near the anthills.
The storms put their life at risk
The eyes of this pink mammal are very small. For this reason, they rely on hearing and touch to orient themselves underground. During the storms, the little animals are forced to leave their tunnels or they risk drowning or wetting their fur. Although for many other animals, watering the fur is not at all serious, for a pink armadillo it can be fatal. It uses its coat and shell to regulate its body temperature. If the coat is wet, the cute animal cannot control its body temperature properly, which can lead to hypothermia at night.
It is an animal sensitive to soil changes
The loss of its natural habitat due to agriculture is the main danger for the pink fairy armadillo. These animals are very sensitive to soil changes. One of the reasons is that its tunnels depend on the stability of the soil. If the earth is altered, as in agriculture, the life of the cute animal is endangered. They are also hunted by domestic dogs and cats. Poaching is another danger that the small armadillo faces. What is even worse is that they cannot survive in captivity. A specimen dies eight days after being taken from the wild.
Pink armadillos can’t lift their tail. They drag it on land.
The pink armadillo is the smallest species of armadillo.
Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored”.
The little armadillo is very sleepy. They sleep from 16 to 18 hours a day in their tunnels.
The pink fairy armadillo has the nickname “swimmer in the sand”. It is digging into the ground like a fish swimming in the water.
Besides the fact that they dig very well, the little animals are also efficient climbs. They have often been seen climbing fences because they could not pass underneath.