Baby Pangolins are lazy!
Seriously, they don’t like to walk around on their own, but rather it is an observed fact that they just lay over their parents upper tail/lower back and get carried about.
Why do pangolins do this? It’s not necessity – baby pangolins are born able to walk. Behavioral studies have shown that from this position the mother is able to quickly scoop the baby into it’s chest and encapsulate the child in the parental defense ball. The pangolin tail is amazingly versatile and can grab the child and fling it forward.
Also, from this position the child can observe the parental foraging and caution without making mistakes of its own. And finally, they must know it’s pretty darn cute. Pretty soon kids won’t be asking for piggy back rides, but rather ‘pangie-back’ rides. Maybe not…
Parents will display this behavior until their baby has grown several months. By then the keratin protein levels in the scales will be much higher, thus making their scales much harder, and the young pangolin can protect itself.
Other animals that are over-protective parents might include polar bears and penguins who spend a lot of time and energy making sure their young are protected, fed, and able to defend themselves.