Pangolin Facts 1

Pangolin’s Are Crazy!  They’re the international and exotic versions of our anteaters and shrews, and they look like nature had a little too much fun playing with all its toys.  But let’s break it down into a nice bullet point list.

The Internet has compiled several lists of the most interesting facts (their tongues can exceed their total body length, their children ride on their parents tails, it does the whole ball-roll thing etc) and I’ll link to those below, but I wanted to boil it down to some big stuff in sets of 3.

Here’s the first need to know installment!

  1. They are the most hunted animal per population in the world (CNN).  In the wild, pangolins can foil almost every predator, but only humans have the upper hand. Why do we do this?
    Pangolins are widely trafficked, on a scale hard to imagine when compared with the poaching of other endangered species!  Their value per kilogram is astonishing.
    Pangolins are widely trafficked, on a scale hard to imagine when compared with the poaching of other endangered species! Their value per kilogram is astonishing.

    WildlifeTrafficking
    .

  2. Remember the Name.  (Shout out to Fort Minor.)

    The word pangolin is derived from the Malay word “pengguling”, which loosely translates to “something that rolls up”.
    They diverge from other animals at the level of order! That means the 8 species of pangolin have their own unique order, family, and genus and their closest relatives are all almost certainly extinct.
    Order: Pholidota
    Family: Manidae
    Genus: Manis
    Species:  culionensisgiganteatemminckiitricuspistetradactylacrassicaudatapentadactylajavanica

    1. They have multiple nicknames, the most cartoonish of which are the ‘Walking Pinecone’ and ‘Africa’s Artichokes’.
      .
  3. Pangolins are the only mammals covered in scales. Those scales are made of hard keratin.  And this drives predators CRAZY!  The keratin is so dense that it’s comparable to talons, hard claws, and other hard tissue.  European lords were even presented with suits of armor made of pangolin scales!  Today the scales are sold whole and as powder for consumption on the black market across Asia for incredible sums!
    Pangolin_defending_itself_from_lions_(Gir_Forest,_Gujarat,_India)

    Pangolins can resist almost any predator with their hard scaly exterior and tight ball shape.
    Pangolins can resist almost any predator with their hard scaly exterior and tight ball shape.

    The nature of the scales is impressive.  While it may be the most protective feature, in future posts we’ll discuss their flexibility and skeletons, their tongues, and much more.

 References:
The Telegraph
CNN          

Project Pangolin

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