Tree pangolin is a mammal in its own family, with a unique appearance. Although not related to the anteater, this animal is often called a Scaly anteater. Oddly looking, this animal looks like it’s not from our planet! Moreover, our friend even has no teeth!
Where can we find the tree pangolin?
This amazing animal can be found from Guinea, through Sierra Leone, West to Central Africa, as far as extreme Southwestern Kenya and Tanzania. Our weird friend loves to spend his time in lowland tropical moist forest and forest-savanna mosaics.
How does the tree pangolin look?
Well, like an artichoke with a long tail! Along with the skinny nose and body scales made of keratin, you can see why this mammal is different than others. The scales are thin and light, with sharp edges. Moreover, this “armor” covers most of the pangolin’s body. Belly, snout, ears, and eyes are naked. The head and body length is between 13 to 17 inches, with an additional 19 to 24 inches of the tail.
This insectivore loves to eat ants and termites, as well as soft-bodied invertebrates. Heck, it is specialized to eat them. Relying on the thick skin for protection, our friend can consume these insects with no harm whatsoever. Moreover, it is covered up with a long tongue to funnel the insects into its mouth.
Since these mammals are not so social, everyone has its own territory. Naturally, males have more space than females. So, when the time comes for breeding, they will meet together. These meetings are brief, lasting only when mating occurs. The gestation period lasts around 150 days, after which a single young is born. The baby is carried on the mother’s tail until three months but often remain until five months.
The tree pangolins defend themselves by rolling into a ball! Their sharp-edged scales can easily cut predators and they emit a putrid fluid from anal glands to ward off predators. Not a joke, indeed!
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