Meet the "Pangolin"...The Mammal with Reptile Scales

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PostTue Jun 25, 2013 2:26 pm » by Kinninigan


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Meet the "Pangolin"...The Mammal with Reptile Scales







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Pangolin

A pangolin /ˈpæŋɡəlɪn/ (also referred to as a scaly anteater or trenggiling) is a mammal of the order Pholidota. The one extant family, Manidae, has one genus, Manis, which comprises eight species. A number of extinct species are known. A pangolin has large keratin scales covering its skin, and is the only known mammal with this adaptation. It is found naturally in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia. The name, pangolin, comes from the Malay word, pengguling, meaning "something that rolls up".


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Indian pangolin defending itself against Asiatic lions


Behavior


Pangolins are nocturnal animals which use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. The long-tailed pangolin is also active by day. 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.

Pangolins lack teeth and the ability to chew. Instead, they tear open anthills or termite mounds with their powerful front claws and probe deep into them with their very long tongues. Pangolins have glands in their chests to lubricate the tongue with sticky, ant-catching saliva.

Some species, such as the tree pangolin, use their strong, prehensile tails to hang from tree branches and strip away bark from the trunk, exposing insect nests inside.

Reproduction

Gestation is 120–150 days. African pangolin females usually give birth to a single offspring at a time, but the Asiatic species can give birth from one to three. Weight at birth is 80–450 g (3–18 ounces), and the scales are initially soft. The young cling to the mother's tail as she moves about, although in burrowing species, they remain in the burrow for the first two to four weeks of life. Weaning takes place at around three months of age, and pangolins become sexually mature at two years.

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Threats

A coat of armor made of pangolin scales, an unusual object, was presented to George III in 1820.

Pangolins are hunted and eaten in many parts of Africa, and are one of the more popular types of bush meat. They are also in great demand in China because their meat is considered a delicacy and some Chinese believe pangolin scales have medicinal qualities. This, coupled with deforestation, has led to a large decrease in the numbers of giant pangolins. In November 2010, pangolins were added to the Zoological Society of London's list of genetically distinct and endangered mammals. Two species of pangolin are classified by the IUCN as Endangered species.

Though pangolin are protected by an international ban on their trade, populations have suffered from illegal trafficking due to beliefs in Asia that their ground-up scales can stimulate lactation or cure cancer or asthma. In the past decade there have been numerous seizures of illegally trafficked pangolin and pangolin meat in Asia. In one such incident in 2013, 10,000 kilograms of pangolin meat was seized from a Chinese vessel that ran aground in the Philippines.

The Guardian provided a description of the killing and eating of pangolins: "A Guangdong chef interviewed last year in the Beijing Science and Technology Daily described how to prepare a pangolin: 'We keep them alive in cages until the customer makes an order. Then we hammer them unconscious, cut their throats and drain the blood. It is a slow death. We then boil them to remove the scales. We cut the meat into small pieces and use it to make a number of dishes, including braised meat and soup. Usually the customers take the blood home with them afterwards.'"

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A coat of armor made of pangolin scales, an unusual object, was presented to George III in 1820.


Taxonomy

Pangolins were classified with various other orders, for example Xenarthra, which includes the ordinary anteaters, sloths, and the similar-looking armadillos. But newer genetic evidence indicates their closest living relatives are the Carnivora with which they form the clade, Ferae.Some palaeontologists have classified the pangolins in the order Cimolesta, together with several extinct groups.


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangolin







World's Weirdest - Pangolin


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NatGeoWild

Published on Dec 6, 2012

With its giant digging claws, the pangolin is nature's backhoe. And a long, sticky tongue — capable of slurping up thousands of ants or termites every day — makes it the scourge of the bug world.














African Pangolin


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lifeonearthclips

Published on Dec 2, 2012

The African pangolin in the BBC's Life of Mammals series. In this clip, pangolins raid a massive ants' nest.













Tv9 Gujarat, Pangolin survived lion attack, Gujarat (Its in Indian, so just enjoy the video!)


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gujarattv9

Uploaded on May 28, 2011

this unbelievable shot was captured by the forest department. It is the rarest case of all when the king of jungle is unable to eat his prey

















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It was written in prophecy that a Gelfling would end Skeksis rule...
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https://www.youtube.com/user/kinninigan

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PostTue Jun 25, 2013 6:43 pm » by Webcat


Informative and interesting post Kinni! :flop:

Loved the vid of the frustrated lioness's - maybe they ought to invest in a tin opener......... :lol:

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PostWed Jun 26, 2013 1:01 pm » by Kinninigan


Webcat wrote:Informative and interesting post Kinni! :flop:

Loved the vid of the frustrated lioness's - maybe they ought to invest in a tin opener......... :lol:

:cheers:



I have an interest in animals in places like Africa and Australia because they are part of the "old world" and provide a clue to what pre-historic life was like, which goes in hand with my real history of Earth research.

I found another animal in Africa that is the closet thing to a "living dinosaur" alive today also..i will write that thread soon too










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PostMon Oct 14, 2013 2:42 am » by Kinninigan


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The plight of the pangolin: One of the planet's most extraordinary and intelligent animals is being hunted to extinction


It is an enigmatic and highly intelligent animal known as a "mischievous escape artist". However, the luck of the pangolin has finally run out, say conservationists. This extraordinary creature is being slaughtered on an industrial scale and faces being eaten to extinction.

Believed to be the world's most trafficked animal, a single pangolin can fetch as much as $7,000 (£4,300) on the black market.

The pangolin – unique among mammals because of its reptilian scales – is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia. Its scales are also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions that include inward-growing eyelashes, boils and poor circulation.

Its conservation status is being reviewed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and two species, the Chinese and the sunda (Malayan pangolin), are likely to be designated as "critically endangered" next year.

Pangolins, largely nocturnal ant-eaters, roll up in a ball when threatened and their scales are so tough that a lion cannot bite through them. But this defence mechanism makes it easy prey for poachers.

However, Dan Challender, of the IUCN said the "mischievous" animals were famed as "escape artists". Traffickers have been known to nail their tails to the floor to prevent them running away.

The pangolin population in China is thought to have fallen by up to 94 per cent since the 1960s. This has driven traffickers to raid populations in India, Pakistan and Africa.

Mr Challender said the four species in Asia could be extinct in as little as 20 years. The four African species may last longer.

Lisa Hywood, who takes in rescued pangolins at the Tikki Hywood Trust, a conservation centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, said: "I believe that the pangolin is as much at risk of becoming extinct as the rhino.Probably more so."

http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 76471.html














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