This week's Mystery Creature...

Week of 7th to 13th October 2013

For those who didn't guess last week's Mystery Creature it is.... the Pink Fairy Aemadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus).
photo credit: cliff1066™ via photopin cc

This little mammal is found in the dry grasslands and sandy plains of Central Argentina and is the smallest of all the armadillo  species. Usually no more than five inches long and with a pink tinted armoured shell, the Pink fairy armadillo is primarily a solitary, nocturnal animal.  It feeds mainly on ants and their larvae and likes to position its burrow near and ant hill for easy food supply.  It is also known to eats worms, snails and other insects as well as some plant matter.

It likes to live in very dry soil and will often leave its burrow if it gets moist from rainfall.  It is capable of burying itself completely within seconds if it feels threatened.   It is also a very good "sand swimmer" using its large front claws to loosen the sand in front of it. This, along with its torpedo shaped body, allow it move through the sand like water.

Wild and domestic cats and dogs prey on the pink fairy armadillo.  It is listed as a near threatened species mainly due to the destruction of its habitat for agricultural purposes.

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