This little guy is specifically a long tailed pangolin also known as the black bellied pangolin. There’s 8 species, some are ground dwelling and burrow, while others like the long tailed pangolin are tree dwelling or arboreal. I happen to know too many facts so I need to share them with you all.
When threatened they curl up into a little ball and cover their face just like an armadillo or a 1st grader during a tornado drill! They’re protected by their tough keratin scales.
Pangolins are the only mammals with protective scales on their body. The scales cover their back only, leaving their face, hands, and underside covered in skin. Arboreal pangolins have no scales on the tip of their tail, this is because they can actually feel with the tip and poke around and find a good spot to curl their tail around when they climb. They have prehensile tails, which may make you ask “Can they hang from their tails??” the answer is yes and it’s the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen.
Back to the long tailed pangolin, I’m a little sad this video didn’t show just how long their tail is. The tail in question reaches 60–70 cm (24–28 in) often twice the size of their body. In fact long tailed pangolin have the most caudal vertebrae in any mammal 46-47. It’s really astonishing how long they get.
Long tailed pangolins are super cool to me because their pretty different from the others in their family even the other tree dwelling ones.
-They are the only diurnal species
-they eat most ants, while most other pangolins have diets primarily of termites
-record long tails as mentioned above
Overall they’re personally my favorite species of pangolin.
I know a lot of fun facts about pangolins but I also know one very not fun fact. They are the most poached animal. Over a million pangolins have been thought to have been illegally hunted in the past decade. All eight species are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with all four species in Asia critically endangered. There’s currently conversation efforts happening to preserve the pangolins such as Zoological Conservation, the aptly named savepangolins.org, the WWF, and you can sponsor a pangolin at the Wildlife Alliance.
On that note I’d like to at least leave you with my favorite fact about pangolins. Mom pangolins give piggy back rides to their babies!!!!!
Save the pangolins!