Chlamyphorus truncatuspink fairy armadillo

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Geographic Range

Pink fairy armadillos (or pichiciegos) are found in the warm sandy plains of Argentina.

Habitat

These armadillos prefer to burrow in very dry soil. They leave their burrows if it is moistened by rainfall. These animals often burrow near anthills, so that they can be close to their food source.

Physical Description

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest member of the armadillo family, measuring only about five to six inches in length. It is also the only armadillo in which the dorsal shell is almost separate from the body.

Reproduction

Baby armadillos resemble their parents, but their shells do not completely harden until they are full grown.

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual

Behavior

The pink fairy armadillo generally lives by itself. The animals stay in their burrrows during the day and feed at night. They are remarkable diggers.

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

These armadillos are omnivores, but they feed mainly on ants. Occasionally they eat worms, snails, and various plant and root materials.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Not much is known about their economic importance to humans or other animals.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

None

Conservation Status

The pink fairy armadillos are declining in number due to the spread of human civilization, and they are considered quite rare.

Contributors

Heather Hathaway (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Neotropical

living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

References

Walker, Ernest P. 1975. Mammals of the World, Third Edition Volume I. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. pg.1176

Goodwin, George G. 1993. Armadillos. pg.661. Bernard Johnston, ed. Collier's Encyclopedia. P.F. Collier Inc, New York, 780pgs.