This is an endangered animal which, in my opinion, looks like a Pokemon! I know that Pokemon were based on real animals so that shouldn’t be a surprise, but this is probably the cutest animal you have never heard of.
Pangolins are mammals with eight species, developed over 80 million years of evolution. 4 species are found in Asia and another four are found in Africa.
They have the dubious honour of being the world’s most-trafficked animal. Another thing that makes them unique is that they are the only mammal in the world covered in scales. These scales are made of keratin (like our fingernails) and protects them from predators.
The name pangolin originates from the Malay word pengguling, meaning ‘one who curls up’.
Pangolin: World’s Weirdest (2 minutes)
Pangolines are nocturnal and notoriously shy and solitary, meeting up only every few years to mate. They eat insects with their incredibly long tongue, which can be even longer than their bodies.
Aside from humans, pangolins main predators are big cats, but the pangolin’s defense of rolling into a ball is extremely effective.
Unfortunately, all eight species of pangolin are endangered or critically endangered because of the trade in their scales mainly for traditional Chinese medicine) and their meat, which is seen as a delicacy. Between the illegal trafficking and the destruction of their habitats, pangolins are dying at unprecedented rates.
See some top facts about pangolins here.
The Tragic Tale of a Pangolin (13 minutes)
World Pangolin Day is held on the third Saturday every February in order to raise awareness of these extraordinary animals.
Learn to say the name in 10 languages and spread the word!
I hope that my blog post can do its part in letting more people know about this animal and will encourage them to support its conservation!
Had you ever heard of pangolins before?
What do you think should be done to stop the trafficking of animals and animal parts?