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It’s the smallest armadillo species in the world, and arguably the cutest. About the size of a dollar bill, the pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature from central Argentina. It isn’t actually a fairy, but it may be just as hard to study: It spends most of its life underground, and sightings in the wild are so rare that one armadillo researcher worked in its habitat for 13 years without ever coming across one. As a result, scientists know little about its population size or trends.
RANGE Central Argentina
SIZE Up to six inches
DIET Omnivorous (primarily invertebrates like ants; also plants)
HABITAT Desert, shrubland
When pink fairy armadillos are seen in the wild, they are usually alone, leading scientists to believe they are solitary creatures.
Removing a pink fairy armadillo from its home almost always proves fatal to the animal. Roughly 95% die within eight days of being taken from their habitat. Because they are so elusive, researchers must draw conclusions about behavior from the few that do survive in captivity.