Animals

Did You Know? Incredible Pink Fairy Armadillo Facts

Pink fairy armadillo facts about the unique armadillo species with a pink shell.
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The pink fairy armadillo (family chlamyphoridae) has another name called pichiciego. The pink fairy armadillo (scientific name Chlamyphorus truncatus) is found only in central Argentina. It has a spatula-like tail that protrudes from its shell. They are only found in Argentina and primarily around  Buenos Aires. The pink fairy armadillo (scientific name chlamyphorus truncatus) leverages its front leg claws when they need to dig, has a fusiform body shape, and a carapace (a protective shell). The armor shell is light pink to rose pink in color and has 24 bands, offering them protection from some predators. The pink fairy armadillo has 28 teeth. The shell’s primary function is not protection but thermoregulation, which means they can control their body temperatures. It is connected to the shell through a thin membrane along the spine and the tail is connected to the vertical plate of the shell.

They have a low basal metabolic rate which leads to a low body temperature and high thermal conductance. The aerodynamic body shape, smooth dorsal shell, and sharp claws have made it possible for the pink fairy armadillo to adapt to the desert by burying itself in the sand completely and also navigate underground with ease. They are known to live half of their lives underground to be safe from predators and only emerge during the night for food. This also means that they are nocturnal creatures. Their size makes them ideal to be held in your hands. Here are some interesting pink fairy armadillo facts for you to enjoy. After reading these pink fairy armadillo facts, do check out our other articles on water vole and gundi.

Pink Fairy Armadillo

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, worms, snails and plants

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

1

How much do they weigh?

0.25-0.28 lb

How long are they?

3.5-4.5 in

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Small eyes, yellowish-white fur, and a flexible dorsal shell

Skin Type

Fur and armored shell

What are their main threats?

Predators, domestic dogs and cats

What is their conservation status?

Data Deficient

Where you'll find them

Scrubby grasslands, sandy plains and dunes

Locations

Central Argentina (Buenos Aires)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Chlamyphorus truncatus

Family

Chlamyphoridae

Genus

Chlamyphorus

Pink Fairy Armadillo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pink fairy armadillo?

The pink fairy armadillo (scientific name Chlamyphorus truncatus) is known to be one of the smallest species on the earth. It is found in the deserts of central Argentina only. The dwarf pink fairy armadillo has a unique shell body that allows it to regulate bodily temperatures. Pink fairy armadillos like to live in burrows in the desert and the species is hence also known as a sand swimmer.

What class of animal does a pink fairy armadillo belong to?

The pink fairy armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) belongs to the mammal class of animals as it gives birth to one offspring like other mammals. The pink fairy armadillo animal is regarded as the smallest armadillo species present in the wild.

How many pink fairy armadillos are there in the world?

The total population of the pink fairy armadillo species is estimated at about 100 individuals only. Not much information is available about this species due to its dwindling population and single geographical location. It is not known if some people like to keep pink fairy armadillo as pets, hence it is not possible to estimate their population.

Where does a pink fairy armadillo live?

The pink fairy armadillo lives underground most of its life. Majority of its population is found in the deserts, sandy plains, and dry grasslands of central Argentina. The dry grasslands have a variety of shrubs during the spring and summer periods. They do not adapt well to captivity as they are sensitive to the region they live in. Pink fairy armadillos prefer a location near ant nests for a constant supply of food for their diet. While digging they tend to leave some dirt behind but the dirt behind is compressed by the flattened armor at the back of the body.

What is a pink fairy armadillo's habitat?

The pink fairy armadillo habitat is most likely to be located in the xeric shrubland of central Argentina only.  This narrow range is the only habitat in which a pink fairy armadillo can survive. These varying temperatures are ideal for the pink fairy armadillo population to survive. The pink fairy armadillo is very sensitive to the changes in the surroundings. A sudden change in the temperature or soil quality of the region can affect the pink fairy armadillo gravely.  They require compact sand with hiding places that are undisturbed and safe from predators.

Who do pink fairy armadillo live with?

The pink fairy armadillo lives alone. It is a shy animal that prefers to live underground by itself. Pink fairy armadillo chlamyphorus is known for its stealth ability as it likes to dig a burrow in the desert and live therein. This animal uses its armor to block the entrance of the burrow when facing any threat of predators.

How long does a pink fairy armadillo live?

In captivity, the pink fairy armadillo (order cingulata family chlamyphoridae) has a life span of four to six years, this has only been documented once. It is a well known fact that they do not survive in captivity for very long. The pink fairy armadillo life span is around 5-10 years. It faces threats from various predators including domestic dogs and cats.

How do they reproduce?

Some pairing behavior observed in nine-banded armadillo is that the male tends to observe the female’s location and approaches it. The male pink fairy armadillo then touches the dorsal area of the female which leads to the female tail wagging. If the female pink fairy armadillo wags her tail, then the male will take the next step of sniffing her. The same behavior could be possible in pink fairy armadillo as the nine-banded armadillo are solitary creatures like them.  The reproduction process of the pink fairy armadillo is also a mystery. So far, we know that the males do not have any external testicles, and the females have two nipples. The pink fairy armadillo only has one offspring per year. This low rate of reproduction is observed in other armadillos, too.

What is their conservation status?

The pink fairy armadillo was listed on the IUCN Red List only after 1996 as it was insufficiently studied before that. In 2006, it was listed as Near Threatened. The frequency of sightings has declined in the past few years. By 2008 the conservation status changed to Data Deficient in the IUCN Red List. The major reason for the decline in sighting could be the loss of the natural habitat to farming and other such activities.  

Pink Fairy Armadillo Fun Facts

What do pink fairy armadillos look like?

The pink fairy armadillos look like small extant armadillos. They are no larger than 3.5-4.5 in and weigh around 0.25-0.28 lb. They prefer to spend their time underground and only come up for food and that too at night. They get their name due to the rose-pink-colored dorsal shell. It is the smallest species of armadillo that is known to the mankind.

Pink fairy armadillos are poached for trade on the black market.

How cute are they?

The pink fairy armadillos are definitely cute strange looking creatures. But they are also known as a shy and lonely species. They are only found in Central Argentina, due to which not much information is available about them.

How do they communicate?

Only one thing is known about the pink fairy armadillos that were kept in captivity, that when anything was changed in its cage, it ran around the cage screaming. This could be considered as some sort of a stress response or warning. Apart from this, not much is known about their voice or non-voice-related communication.

How big is a pink fairy armadillo?

The pink fairy armadillos are so small that they can fit in the palm of your hand. They are 3.5-4.5 in long and are known as the smallest extant armadillos on the planet.

How fast can a pink fairy armadillo run?

The pink fairy armadillos can run up to 2 mph or 3.5 kph. They are known as sand swimmers for their ability to burrow and navigate underground. Because of their body structure, they can dig faster and travel through the burrows faster too.

How much does a pink fairy armadillo weigh?

The pink fairy armadillos weigh about 0.25-0.28 lb. They are tiny creatures and fragile, too.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female pink fairy armadillos may not have specific names, as very little is known about them.

What would you call a baby pink fairy armadillo?

The name of the baby pink fairy armadillos is also unknown as there is not much information available about them.

What do they eat?

The pink fairy armadillos are known as fossorial generalist insectivores, their diet comprises of insects. Their diet features ants and larvae that are found underground. They also eat worms, snails, and other insects as part of their diet.  They may also eat plant leaves and roots if insects are not available.

Are they aggressive?

The pink fairy armadillos are more lonely, scared creatures than aggressive. It would be difficult to judge as very little information is available about their behavior pattern.

Would they make a good pet?

It would not be advisable to have the pink fairy armadillos pets as it is a very sensitive creature who has adapted to only one kind of geographical condition. And all attempts to have them in captivity have failed, as it dies after a few days in captivity. Until and unless more information is available about this animal, it woudn't be a good idea to capture them.

Did you know...

The pink fairy armadillo is mainly recognized due to its dorsal shell, which is of rose pink color.

It can pump blood through its shell to regulate the body temperature.

They are rarely sighted in their natural habitat as they are shy, lonely creatures who spend most of their time underground.  They are nocturnal creatures who stay underground and only come up in search of food.

The pink fairy armadillo is known as a sand swimmer due to its ability to navigate ungrounded in the sands easily. They move so fast that it feels as if they are swimming.

The first known description of the pink fairy armadillo was published by Richard Harlan in 1825.

They are found in the neotropical regions of Mendoza, Buenos Aires, San Luis, La Pampa and San Juan.

The pink fairy armadillo tunnels only six inches below the surface. A little moderate rainfall can flood their burrows.

What eats the pink fairy armadillo?

Domestic dogs and cats are most likely to eat the pink fairy armadillo. Pink fairy armadillo is losing its habitat as more land is brought under farming and other such activities.

Where do pink fairy armadillos live?

Sandy planes, dunes, and scrubby grasslands of Argentina are the habitat of pink fairy armadillo. Pink fairy armadillo animals are only found in the south of Mendoza province, north of Rio Negro, and south of Buenos Aries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including elephant shrew, or bog turtle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our pink fairy armadillo coloring pages.

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