Pangolins have is marked by large, hardened, overlapping plate-like scales. The pangolin scales are made of keratin. and are attached to muscles under the skin. and can be moved to point towards predators. Hair grows between the scales and near the rear of the animal.
The pangolin's scaled body is a bit like a pine cone or globe artichoke. It can curl up into a ball when threatened, with its overlapping scales acting like armour while it tucks its face under its tail. The scales are sharp, providing extra defence from predators.
A pangolin's main predators are wild cats, hyenas and humans. A mother pangolin's gestation period is between 120 and 180 days. Young pangolin are born with scales, and they harden by the second day the pangopup is out of the womb.
Pangolins are a critically endangered species and have been hunted and trafficked all across Asia and Africa. They are usually sought after for their scales, meat and medical properties. This creature also has been identified as a host for SARS-CoV-2 and similar viruses.
- Yu, Jingyu et al 2015. The first birth and survival of cub in captivity of critically endangered Malayan pangolin (Mariis javanica). Agricultural Science & Technology. 16 (10) – via EBSCO.
- BBC Natural World 5. Pangolins
- *Charlie Campbell and Mong La (November 21, 2016). "Traditional Chinese medical authorities are unable to stop the booming trade in rare animal parts". Time.
- Pangolin: Wildlife summary from the African Wildlife Foundation
- A photograph of a pangolin
- Paul Kuniholm Pangolin Mural
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pholidota.|
|Wikispecies has information on: Pholidota.|