The world’s tiniest armadillo species is also possibly the cutest in the world.
The pink fairy armadillo, a nocturnal animal from central Argentina, is about the size of a dollar note.
It isn’t really a fairy, but it could be just as challenging to learn about: Since it spends most of its time underground, seeing one in the wild is exceptionally rare.
So rare that armadillo researcher Mariella Superina worked in its habitat for 13 years without ever coming across one.
Scientists don’t have much information regarding its population numbers or trends as a result.
Despite its real name being a pink fairy armadillo, It cannot fly or perform spells like a true fairy, but it does have a rose shell that serves as a radiator.
The armadillo’s ability to regulate its internal body temperature through blood flow is also how it acquires its fairy-pink color.
It is the smallest armadillo species, and it spends virtually its whole life digging into the ground to seek different insects and eat plant material.
Never spending more than a few seconds above ground, the pink fairy armadillo. It is a very s𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁ed burrower, only digging 6 inches below the surface.
If kept as a pet, it will most likely pass away from stress or from being unable to adjust to an unnatural diet. Ninety-five percent of pink fairy armadillos kept in captivity, according to Superina, die within eight days.
During rainy weather, pink fairy armadillos may be counted on to show up.
Although the armadillo’s habitat barely receives 8 inches of rainfall annually, when storms do occur, they are intense soaks that flood burrows and drive the armadillo to the surface.
Additionally, they could be coming out because, according to Superina, “if their fur gets wet, this will affect their thermoregulation — armadillos in general have problems thermoregulating.”
Since the amazing tiny pink fairy armadillo is so rarely observed, Superina and other experts aren’t even able to say if it’s endangered or not, so we can only hope to get a glimpse of it sometimes.
Simply said, the statistics are insufficient. They don’t know for sure, but human encroachment on its range may be putting it in danger of going extinct.