The Endangered Pangolins
The Eight Species of Pangolins
The name Pangolin is derived from Malay's word penggaling, which means "something that rolls up." It is so unfortunate that these creatures are becoming extinct because of humans. Although it is illegal to own a pangolin, the traffickers continue to hunt them for profit.
There have been over 1000 rangers estimated to have been killed in the last ten years trying to protect wildlife.
Pangolins are the most trafficked non-human mammal in the world. There are eight species of these small creatures. Four are found in Africa, and four are located in Asia.
The African pangolins are; the Ground Pangolin, the Giant Pangolin, the White-Bellied Pangolin, and the Black Bellied Pangolin. The Asian pangolins are; the Chinese Pangolin, the Sunda Pangolin, the Indian Pangolin, and the Philippine Pangolin.
Their scales are made of keratin, the same as our fingernails and hair. The scales are usually dried, ground into a powder, and perhaps a pill.
They are small, secretive, nocturnal with a keen sense of smell. When threatened, they curl up into a ball and emit a foul odor like a skunk would do. Usually, only one baby pangolin is born per year and the baby rides on the back of the mother remaining with her until about three months old.
Little differences between each species, but certainly, they are not dangerous. Some species tend to stay in trees while some prefer to burrow in the ground or the forested brush.
Ground Pangolin manis temmincki
This pangolin is found in southern and eastern Africa. It can walk on its hind legs using the tail as a balance. It has five toes and the forefeet has three long, curved claws.
Giant Pangolin, manis gigantea
The Giant Pangolin can be found in West Africa to Uganda. It is the largest of the African species, with males measuring 4.6 ft and females 4.1 ft. Their snout is long with a very long thick tail. They walk on their hind legs to protect their claws.
The Ground Pangolins live in southern and eastern Africa, with a standard diet of pangolins being ants and termites.
White Bellied Pangolin manis tricuspis
Black Bellied Pangolin manis tetradactyla
Indian Pangolin manis crassicaudate
Phillipine Pangolin manis culionensis
Chinese Pangolin manis pentadactya
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on March 10, 2020:
Thank you for your comments.
Rosina S Khan on March 07, 2020:
A nice hub on pangolin, a creature I never heard of. It is sad they are getting extinct in the wildlife. I agree with you every measure must be taken to preserve them, Fran.