Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Pangolins (also referred to as scaly anteaters or trenggiling) are mammals of the order Pholidota. The one extant family, Manidae, has three genera: Manis, which comprises four species living in Asia, Phataginus, which comprises two species living in Africa, and Smutsia, which comprises two species also living in Africa. These species range in size from 30 to 100 centimetres (12 to 39 in). A number of extinct pangolin species are also known. The name pangolin comes from the Malay word "pengguling", meaning "something that rolls up". It is found in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia.
Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this adaptation. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species. Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long, specially adapted tongues. They tend to be solitary animals, meeting only to mate and produce a litter of one to three offspring which are raised for about two years. Pangolins are threatened by hunting (for their meat and armor) and heavy deforestation of their natural habitats, and are the most trafficked mammal in the world.
Most pangolins are nocturnal animals that use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. The long-tailed pangolin is also active by day, while other species of pangolins spend most of the daytime sleeping, curled up into a ball.
Arboreal pangolins live in hollow trees, whereas the ground dwelling species dig tunnels underground, to a depth of 3.5 metres (11 ft). Pangolins are also good swimmers.From Wikipedia