It may just be my love of scaly creatures, but I think these guys are pretty darn cute. I first saw the pangolin during one of my many Animal Planet binges. I have an odd feeling it was on an episode of the Jeff Corwin Experience but who knows.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Infraclass: Eutheria
- Superorder: Laurasiatheria
- Order: Pholidota
- Family: Manidae
- Genus: Manis
There are eight species of “scaly anteater” (four across Asia, four in Africa), all of which have an outer covering of keratin scales. They are the only mammal with this adaptation. These burrowing animals are toothless so they use their long, sticky tongue to obtain food. They also have the neat ability of rolling themselves up into a tight ball when they feel threatened.
Two species of pangolin are of least concern, four are near threatened and two are endangered. The most immediate threat to pangolin is hunting by humans. In Africa, they are used for bush meat and in China for medicinal purposes. Pangolins are also losing their homes to deforestation.
Here’s a Nat Geo video of the pangolin:
Vet hospital updates:
- The kitten’s neutering went well. The little dorks had to be separated afterward since they were playing too much. They also had to wear soft e-collars, which I recently took off, so they wouldn’t lick themselves.
- Barkley the pitbull is getting neutered today and a tail amputation since his happy tail is so bad.
- Pangolins Poached at Rate of at Least One Per Hour in 2011 (bushwarriors.wordpress.com)
- Photo of the Day – 1 September, 2011 (bushwarriors.wordpress.com)