A rarely seen creature by safari travellers the Pangolin is a small mammal covered in tough overlying scales made from keratin – their scales act as armour to protect their insides when rolled into a ball when danger is around. Theses toothless animals have exceptionally long and sticky tongues, poor vision and hearing but a strong sense of smell. A pangolin’s tongue is attached on the inside of their bodies near the pelvis area and last pair of ribs; when fully extended their tongue is longer than that of their body and head!
|The 3 pangolin claws.|
The name pangolin comes from the Malay word, pengguling, which translates into ‘to roll up.’ This fascinating animal is sadly on the list for endangered mammals due to the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss. There are 8 species, with four species found on each continent of Africa and Asia. In Africa the species found south of the Sahara desert are; the Cape or ground pangolin, the tree pangolin, the giant pangolin and the long-tailed pangolin.