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.
- Wang, Bin (2016). "Pangolin armor: overlapping, structure, and mechanical properties of the keratinous scales". Acta Biomaterialia. doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2016.05.028.
- 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. Explicit use of et al. in:
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- BBC Natural World 5. Pangolins
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