Wednesday, 16 February 2011


A pangolin hanging from a tree
While the pangolin looks like a xenarthran - the cohort of animals that include anteaters, sloths, armadillos, and everyone’s favorite semi-obscure extinct mammal, the glyptodon - sharing the long tongue of the anteater and having armor like an armadillo or glyptodon, it’s closest living relatives are actually the carnivorans (dogs, cats, bears, pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walruses), etc). 
This seems especially strange because pangolins lack teeth.

Pangolins are nocturnal animals, and use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. Pangolins spend most of the daytime sleeping. The behaviour of the pangolin is just as great as their appearance. They use their claws to dig for insects, burrow, and to climb. Some species can hang from tree branches with their tail (please see featured picture). When threatened, or sleeping, they roll into balls. 

They are in my list of top 10 favourite animals of all time.

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