Have You Ever Seen the Adorable Pink Fairy Armadillo? No? It’s…Amazing.

Tough-shelled, industrious, and very, very shy.

Smithsonian/Mother Jones illustration

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If you’re in the market for a new Pride Month mascot, look no further. When the Smithsonian tweeted a photo of the pink fairy armadillo this week, I did a double-take. What a beautiful, strange thing! At only six inches, it is the world’s smallest known armadillo; that pink-hued shell is colored by blood-vessels that help the armadillo regulate its body temperature.

It’s also very, very shy, according to this WIRED profile. Not much is known about this nocturnal and subterranean creature that burrows under the dry Argentinian grasslands with “huge claws and busy little tractor bum.” Humans rarely get a glimpse. What limited scholarship exists paints a worrying picture of a creature highly susceptible to minute environmental changes (it’s very hard to keep in captivity), and it may be under threat from farming and invasive species. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists it as endangered.

Thanks to the Smithsonian, our hard-shelled fairy friend, a sort of real-life Pokémon, is getting a well-deserved boomlet of attention:

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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