The scaly ant eater, also known as the
, is a mammal
armored with large, keratin plates covering the top of its body. They are found
in both Africa and Asia and are around 12 – 40 inches in size on average.
In the event of an attack, the pangolin will curl up into a
ball to shield itself, hence its name, which derives from the Bahasa Malaysian word
They are also able to release an unpleasant gas, much like a
A solitary and nocturnal animal, the scaly ant eater survives on
a diet of termites and ants, for which they use their long tongue to pick off
their prey. Their tongues are often longer than their bodies, at around
Unfortunately for the Pangolins, they are heavily hunted for
both their armor as well as their meat.
Seen as a delicacy in some
countries, they are often hunted and exported to countries in Asia, as there is
belief that the keratin armor has certain medicinal properties.
This, as well as the Pangolins natural habitats being largely
destroyed by deforestation, has earned them a place on the red list.