(The Gist of Science Reporter) Pangolin Facts [MARCH-2019]

(The Gist of Science Reporter) Pangolin Facts [MARCH-2019]

Pangolin Facts

  • The name Pangolin is derived from the Malay word “pengguling’, which means “rolling up’. This refers to the animal’s defence mechanism of rolling up into a tight little hardened ball when threatened.
  • Like a skunk, pangolins can release a noxious-smelling acid to deter predators.
  • Pangolins have a long sticky tongue that grows from deep inside their chest cavity and can extend to over 40cm, which is longer than its own body! This tongue is a perfect tool for catching insects. One pangolin is estimated to catch a massive 70 million a year.
  • With no teeth, and unable to chew, the insects are broken up by stones and keratin spines located inside their stomach.
  • It is unknown how long pangolins live because captivity is traumatic for pangolins resulting in stress, depression and early death. However, the oldest recorded pangolin in captivity died at 19 years old.
  • They are nocturnal, solitary animals with very poor eyesight. Their sense of smell and sound is supreme and is used to hunt out termite mounds and ant hills.
  • Cute pangolin pups hitch a ride on their mother's tails for three months and remain in their mother's care for five months before braving life solo.
  • Pangolins are increasingly becoming victims of illegal wildlife crime due to their meat and scales.
  • Eight species of pangolins are found on two continents. They range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered.
  • Four species live in Africa: Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), Whitebellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), Giant Ground pangolin (Smuts/o gigantea) and Temminck’s Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii).
  • The four species found in Asia: Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).
  • All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws, and two are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Courtesy: Science Reporter