Pink Fairy Armadillo
The Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) or Pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo . It is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo is approximately 90115 mm long excluding the tail, and is pale rose or pink in color. It has the ability to bury itself completely in a matter of seconds if frightened.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo is a nocturnal animal. It burrows small holes near ant colonies in dry dirt, and feeds mainly on ants and ant larvae near its burrow. Occasionally it feeds on worms, snails, insects and larvae, or various plant and root material.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo spends much of its time under the ground as it is a "sand swimmer" similar to the Golden Mole or the Marsupial Mole. They use large front claws to agitate the sand, allowing them to almost swim through the ground like it is water. It is torpedo-shaped and has a shielded head to prevent abrasion from the sand.
In 1996 the species was classed as endangered by the IUCN. However, this was downgraded to near threatened in 2006, and in 2008 changed to data deficient. Although concern exists over habitat destruction, particularly due to cattle farming, the actual effects are poorly understood.
The armadillo is found in several protected areas, including the Lihue Calel National Park. Both national and provincial legislation is in place specifically protecting the species.
Species profile from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Genus Chlamyphorus - Armadillo Online
Chlamyphorus truncatus page of the Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas (Spanish)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Pink Fairy Armadillo