World Pangolin Day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals — and their plight. These amazing creature numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa due to poaching and illegal hunting. Across the world, there are eight species ranging from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered, so today is the day to start helping in raising awareness of these under-appreciated animals.
Very little is know about these creatures however the are the only scaled mammal. These unique mammals covered in hard scales, comprised of keratin. They predate almost exclusively on ants and termites. Predominantly nocturnal and elusive, secretive mammals so it makes hard work to find out more about their habits. Due to variation in their size and the size of their scales, each species of pangolin likely has a different range in terms of the number of scales. The number of scales on the Sunda pangolin has been estimated at approximately 900 to over 1000.
Want to learn more here are some facts…
- Pangolins are the only mammal to be covered in scales.
- To protect themselves, they curl into balls like hedgehogs.
- Their name comes from the Malay word ‘pengguling’ meaning ‘something that rolls up’.
- They are the most smuggled mammal in the world because people want their meat and scales.
- A pangolin’s tongue can be longer than its body when fully extended is can be 40 cm long!