An African Pangolin ~ With small conical heads and jaws lacking teeth, pangolins have amazingly long, muscular, and sticky tongues that are perfect for reaching and lapping up ants and termites in deep cavities.
All four African pangolin species -- the ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), giant ground pangolin (Manis gigantea), white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspid), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) -- have been moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust
Pangolins (also referred to as scaly anteaters or trenggiling) are mammals of the order Pholidota. Species range in size from 30 to 100 centimetres (12 to 39 in). Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this adaptation. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species. Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long, specially adapted tongues.
BLACK BELLIED PANGOLIN: This female black bellied pangolin was rehabilitated (at Sangha Lodge, CAR) from an orphan at one month to full grown, when she was released back into the Central African rainforest. She is currently living free, still being observed from a distance. She was named Pangi and is the ONLY black bellied pangolin that has ever been observed for any length of time - seen here with Armand, the animal carer at Sangha Lodge during her time of rehabilitation there.