No teeth, waddles, long nails – the pangolin is nature’s old man.
Here’s your next installment of fun facts about the pangolin.
1 – Pangolins don’t have teeth!
That’s right, these boys and girls just stick their snout down an ant hole and with it’s incredible extension and flexibility they can clear out even the deepest colony and fill up on the best bug-grub available. Chewing isn’t something they worry about.
2 – Pangolins waddle.
Their body distribution is such that their long tail counter-balances their torso. This means that pangolins walk around on their somewhat stumpy back two legs while typically their forelimbs are not in contact with the ground. It makes them look like their planning something as they stoop over and bustle about.
3 – Pangolins have many features that evolution has provided for them over time. The coolest of these might be the protective flaps over their ears and eyes. We already know the pangolin has tough impervious scales all over its body, but when angry ants swarm a pangolin how does it keep them from irritating the ears or eyes? Well they can close their eyes completely shut and plug their ears! It’s pretty wild, but these seals are nearly airtight and protect the vital organs from angry ant invasion!
Everything discussed in this post can also be found in this short and entertaining National Geographic clip, and just seeing a pangolin walk is awesome – they’re so goofy and awkward, and just a little too human. Check it out.