“I think having an animal in your life makes you a better human.
– Rachel Ray
It is one of the rarest animals in the world. It can hardly see but swims through sand in much in the same way as a fish swims in the sea. Its scientific name is “Chlamyphorus truncates” and it is the smallest specie of armadillo known to man. It is the Pink Fairy Armadillo.
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Most of them are between 9cm and 12 cm long (not including the length of its tail) and they weigh about 120g.
Its pink dorsal shell is almost completely separate from its body and only attached to it by a thin membrane down the mid-line. The shell is not a protective armor, but scientists believe it is rather a way to regulate temperature. More blood can flow to the shell to cool the Fairy down or it can flow back to the body to provide warmth.
The pink fairy armadillo’s claws are so suitable for digging that it can hardly walk on it. In fact, these animals are almost never seen on the surface, and they spend most of their lives just beneath the surface, about 15cm down. They are such excellent diggers that they can bury themselves with sand within seconds when threatened.
A flat and diamond-shaped tail completes the picture.
Restricted geographical range
Pink Fairies live only in the sandy plains of central Argentina, south of Buenos Aires, north of Rio Negro and in the south of the Mendoza province. They are not found anywhere else on earth. Endangered, or not?
The Pink Fairy Armadillo only rears one pup per season. The little one is very vulnerable to predators as its shell will only harden when he reaches maturity.
These little animals are so rare to spot, that scientists are unsure of how many there actually are. They have been on the endangered red list, but have been moved to a category called ‘data deficient’ because there is just not enough information about them available.
Farming activities by humans are their greatest threat.
How do you feel about the Pink Fairy Armadillo?
Most of us are in awe about the existence of this wonderful little creature.
If you could do something to help the pink fairies to survive and not to get extinct you would do so in a wink of an eye, won’t you? But you can’t.
They are so exquisite, so rare, that only 3 of them managed to survive in captivity since 1970. The one that lived the longest, lived for 30 months. But, it was the exception: 95% of pink fairy armadillos captured dies within the first 8 days.
A powerful emotion
It is wonderful that such a creature can provoke such powerful emotions within us.
It sure makes us better humans to have animals in our lives, even if we can only read about them such as the case is with the Pink Fairies.
Our fellow man
But, there is another species of ‘animal’ within our reach. It is one that is also suffering in numerous ways. It is our own species: our fellow man.
We might not be on the brink of extinction, but there are so many of us struggling to survive just below the surface of life. It is the depressed, those who are suicidal, the trafficked, the homeless.
Unlike the Pink Fairy Armadillo, we know where to find them. We know how to help them. Let’s use our power of empathy and our sympathetic natures to make this human world a better place. Let’s help our own species – our fellow man.
Start by donating today. Give something to Largest Heart. The non-profit with the big heart. Together we can spread love and hope.