Considering armadillos are mammals covered in a kind of bony shell, the "little armored ones" are already fascinating little creatures — but pink fairy armadillos are pretty much out of this world.
The solitary, nocturnal animal is just about 6 inches long, making him the tiniest of the 20 varieties of the animal, and is found only in central Argentina. But what's most remarkable about this odd little creature is obviously his color: The armor covering his furry body is a light shade of pink.
Not only that, scientists are pretty much baffled by them. Many details about the pink fairy armadillo remain a mystery.
"Fairy armadillos or pichiciegos ... are among the most elusive mammals," reads a 2012 study. "Due to their subterranean and nocturnal lifestyle, their basic biology and evolutionary history remain virtually unknown."
Despite this, one thing is perfectly clear about the pink fairy armadillo: He can't survive without his habitat.
Pink fairy armadillos are sometimes illegally removed from the wild to be kept or sold on black markets as pets, but they literally cannot survive captivity. Most die within eight days of being taken away from their habitat.
Also, the pink fairy armadillo's habitat is being increasingly converted to farmland. Because they burrow underground, the plowing of fields and the grazing of cattle can wreck the animals' hiding places. And some pesticides can wipe out many of the insects the pink fairy armadillo eats.
Now people all over the world are signing a petition asking the Argentinean Minister of Environment to do more to conserve the arid habitat this fantastically pink creature calls home — because the animal's life literally depends on it.
"We must take care of this Earth and the animals on it," a Florida resident who signed the petition on Tuesday wrote.
"Why would anyone NOT want to save this precious creature?" another wrote. "It took millions of years to evolve, and it makes us humans look like idiots to allow it to die out through neglect."
To help save the pink fairy armadillo, you can sign the petition.