Pangolin is an animal that is very ancient and unusual. Seems to be on nature experimented with this animal, showing particular creativity and imagination. Unusual appearance, this is only part its unique features. He looks like an anteater and an armadillo, but while it has nothing to do with them. Until now, scientists have not were able to find out its origin. Today we meet him closer.
These animals belong to the lizards, and look very much like fir cones.
The first pangolin remains found date from a period of 70 million years ago. They live in South Africa and in southeast Asia.
Their body is from 30 to 88 centimeters long, covered with stiff keratinized plates adjacent so tightly to each other that the ants and termites that feed this animal cannot crawl through between them.
And the stomach and muzzle are covered with very rough skin, which the insects also unable to bite.
The weight of pangolins varies from 4.5 to 27 kg.
In the world there are only 8 species of these animals.
Pangolin is armed with huge claws that he needs for ruin termite mounds and anthills.
But there is another interesting feature – their language! He is so long, which does not end in the mouth, but passes through almost everything the body of the animal, and the muscles that move it reach almost to the tail. On average, the length of the tongue is about 40 cm, it is very sticky and has a sweet smell.
When the pangolin sticks its tongue into the termite, the insects themselves climb on it and stick. Having eaten hearty lunch with ants, pangolin sticky saliva covers the entrance so that the insects do not run away, until his next meal. The next day he returns and eats up remaining termites.
But this is not all the amazing abilities of pangolins – in the mouth he has no teeth, but they have in the stomach! More precisely, there are keratinized plates adapted for grinding food. Also small pebbles adhered to the tongue during termite catching time.
If suddenly small insects got under the scales to the pangolin, then he sits on the anthill and opens them so that the ants can climb under them. And then it closes tightly. Locked this way ants begin to spray their acid, destroying everyone parasites.
Pangolins live alone, meeting once a year for mating. They have from one to three cubs, depending by sight.
These animals not only have excellent armor that can be opened under except for the leopard, but there is one more surprise – during the attack predator he releases a stream of smelly liquid, driving away the offender.
Pangolins are on the verge of extinction due to the fault of a person who kills them for an unusual skin with scales and tasty meat.
Horn plates are considered healing. And the Indians use them for tailoring their traditional military costumes.
Take care of animals, and nature will reciprocate.