Pink Fairy Armadillo profile.indd by dfsiopmhy6


									YZC Animal of the Month, April 2010
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Chlamyphorus truncatus
                                                    Can you see the
                                                    armadillo’s large
                                                    front claws? These
                                                    are used in digging.
                                                    They can dig very
                                                    quickly, which is
                                                    a surprise as they
                                                    are generally rather
                                                    quite slow animals!
                                                    Pink fairy armadillos
Search in the case at the                 spend much of their time in
bottom of the stairs in the               burrows underground. They eat
lower gallery for this small              mostly insects, but also some
mammal from South America.                worms, snails and plants.
The pink fairy armadillo is the
smallest species of armadillo,            Armadillos belong to a group
measuring just 9-15cm                     of mammals called the
long. They are found only in              Xenarthra, along with anteaters
Argentina, and are so elusive             and sloths. You can see a
that noone knows how many                 difference between these and
pink fairy armadillos are alive           other mammals in the number
today.                                    of vertebrae (bones of the
                                          backbone) they have in their
Like other species of armadillo,          neck. In the museum, count
this armadillo has a shell called         the number of vertebrae in the
a carapace on its back. In the            neck of the giraffe, rhino, lion
pink fairy armadillo the shell is         or other mammal. Now count
pale pink and attached on the             the number in the necks of the
head and along the spine. Silky           xenarthran mammals. Most
white fur covers the body, and            mammals have 7 bones in their
can be seen poking out from               neck, while the xenarthrans
under the carapace.                       have between 6 and 9.

University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge                            April 2010

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