|Pangolins Is Weirdest And The Most Trafficked Mammals In The World by Storyteller(m): Fri 13, May, 2022|
This animal, much in the news lately for its possible role as a vector for Covid-19, comes with its own armor.
Also known as the scaly anteater, the pangolin’s skin is covered in scales made of keratin, which is the same stuff that makes up other animals’ hair, fur, claws and fingernails. It is the only mammal known to have these kinds of scales, which has made it a focus of attention, both good and bad. Poaching and habitat destruction has made most of the six pangolin species endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable. This is true even though the animal protects itself by curling up in a ball and presenting its sharp-edged scales when it’s threatened.
Pangolins, which are solitary creatures, are nocturnal and only eat termites and ants. Though they are hard to keep in captivity, zoos such as the Brookfield Zoo, the Taipei Zoo, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia have some.
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