Pangolin or pangolin: the endangered anteater with scales
The name pangolin originated in Malaysia. The name comes from the word ?? pengguling ??, what ?? roll up ?? means in Malaysian. The pangolin or pangolin has the ability to curl up like a ball (like a hedgehog) when it feels cornered. However, the pangolin is in danger of extinction in 2018. The pangolin is (illegally) hunted and the animal is known as the most traded animal in the world. China and Vietnam love the meat and in these countries a nice price is paid for this meat delicacy. The pangolin lives in the forests and grasslands of Africa and Asia. The pangolin is a real anteater. The animal therefore feeds en masse on ants and termites. The permanent hunt for the pangolin will make the pangolin extinct.
Animal with scales: what is a pangolin?
A pangolin or pangolin belongs to the family of mammals. The pangolin only lives in Africa and South Asia. The animal has a special external characteristic. The animal is completely covered with scales. Only the belly and the inside of the arms are free of scales. The scales are like an armor if the animal is attacked or if the animal feels unsafe. The pangolin then rolls up like a ball. The so-called harness is very strong and offers protection against other large animals. The male sex of the pangolin becomes much larger than the female mammal. The pangolin, also called anteater, feeds mainly on ants and termites. The pangolin has a particularly long tongue (equal to the length of the animal). This tongue is covered with a layer of saliva. In addition, the animal still has short but very strong front legs for digging. The pangolin has no teeth. The food is ground in the animal’s strong stomach.
Where do these pangolins live?
Pangolins feel great in wooded areas or in grasslands. The animals are located in Africa (West and East Africa) and South Asia. In the wooded areas, pangolins live both in the trees and on the ground. The animals that live in a tree have a prehensile tail.
Pangolins are known as solitary animals. The word ?? solitary ?? comes from the Latin word ?? solus ??, which ?? only ?? means. In concrete terms, this means that the pangolin hardly lives together with other animals of its kind. In 2018 there are eight species of pangolins in the world. The animals do not reproduce in large numbers. The limited reproduction is therefore no way to stop the eradication. The female pangolins only have one young and this young is protected by the mother at birth. Reproduction can occur from the age of two.
Mammal pangolin in danger of extinction
The pangolins or pangolins are dying out very quickly in 2018. On the one hand due to the felling of trees (no more living environment), and on the other hand due to hunting and the illegal animal trade in pangolins. The pangolin is relatively unknown in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is possible that the animal was exterminated faster than humans knew the pangolin existed.
Prestige and status in China and Vietnam
The pangolin is a status symbol in China and Vietnam, and especially for these inhabitants. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy, for which prices of about 350 euros per kilogram are paid in a restaurant. Prestige and status thus play an important role in the consumption of pangolin meat. The scales and blood of the pangolin are used as a medicine in these countries because of their medicinal properties. The dried tongue is used in jewelry and the tongue may also serve as a good luck charm in these cultures.
Not a clear picture of the mammal
In 2018 there is no clear view of the number of live pangolins. The animal is therefore seen as an endangered species. According to environmental organizations, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed every year. It is not clear how many pangolins are still living in the wild. Because of that unclear picture, the animal remains a mysterious thing to scientists and interested animal lovers.
Ban on trade in endangered pangolins
Pangolins are forbidden to trade. This ban was enacted in 2016 at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Plant and Animal Species (CITES). However, pangolins are still illegally traded every year. By means of this prohibition, they want to stop the extinction of this animal species.
Facts about the pangolins or anteaters
Pangolins have strong armor, which consists of large scales that fall over each other like roof tiles. Some other tidbits will give you more knowledge about the endangered pangolin.
- Pangolins are nocturnal animals. Determining a population of animals is preferably done in daylight. So it is very difficult to estimate how many pangolins there are in the world.
- The sturdy scales or shells of an anteater contain keratin. Keratin is an insoluble protein that is present in the outer layer of the skin of pangolins. The keratin ensures that the skin of pangolins is tough and water-resistant.
- The long tongue of a pangolin works as follows: with the sticky tongue, the animal is able to eat (slurp) thousands of ants and termites every day.
- In Asia, medicines are made from the scales. In 2018, it has never been scientifically demonstrated that these medicines have a real effect and contribute to better health.
- Every third Saturday in February is World Panamanian Day. On this day one wishes to draw attention to the ever-diminishing number of pangolins in the world.