Given its World Pangolin day , we though we’d join in with our own personal top 10 favorite facts about these fascinating creatures, but first of all you probably want to know What is a Pangolin ?
Pangolin’s (pictured) are small scaled covered ant eaters native to Africa and Asia. There are 8 species of Pangolin all of which are protected under national and international laws and range from vulnerable to critically endangered. Sadly they hold the some what dubious title of the worlds most trafficked animal and are hunted for their meat and scales. If you want to lean more about Pangolins and Pangolin conservation as always we recommend checking out the WWF. But for now here’s our own top 10 Pangolin facts.
- Pangolins are the only known mammals whose body’s are covered in scales.
- A pangolin’s scales account for about 20 per cent of its overall body weight
- Despite having no teeth Pangolins can eat 70 million ants a year.
- Their sticky tongues, can be as long as their body which and is perfect for foraging deep into an ant hill.
- Pangolins defend themselves by rolling up into a ball totally covered with scales
- Pangolins can close their ears and nostrils to keep ants and termites out while they are feeding.
- The long scaly tail of the Pangolin allows it to climb trees and hang from branches
- A Pangolins scales are all perfectly symmetrical
- Despite their diet and appearance , Pangolins are not related to anteaters, sloths or armadillos.
- Pangolins have become highly endangered through the use of their scales in Chinese Medicine, despite the fact that their scales have no medicinal properties.
Pangolins are amazing , unique and beautiful creatures , but sadly they are disappearing, many amazing organisations are working tirelessly to preserve these creatures ,and we want to take the opportunity to thank each and everyone of them. If you want to help Pangolins , you can make donations on either the African Wildlife Federation or the SCC Pangolin Specialist Group