Scientific Name: Manis temminckii
Common Name: Pangolin, Ietermagog,
Steppen-schuppentier, Pangolino, Pangolin de Temminck, terrestre du Cap, Onaka,
Description: : the whole upper body and tail as well as
the sides of the legs are covered by triangular, overlapping horny plates. The
eyes are small and the ears are just slits in the side of the head. The legs are
short and heavily built; the forefeet have a nail on the first toe, curved claws
on the second, third and fourth toes, and a short claw on the fifth. All five
toes of each hind foot have a small nail-like claw. The tail is long and heavy,
concave on the inside to accommodate the body when alarmed. A well-developed
anal gland produces a smelly secretion.
Difference in Sex: Males are bigger than females.
Females have one pair of nipples on the chest.
Average Weight: males 13kg,
Habitat: Occurs in a wide range of habitats except
swamp, forest, open grassland and desert.
Habits: Solitary and mainly nocturnal, with occasional
daytime activity. Hides during the day in burrows, holes, or piles of
vegetation. The Pangolin walks on its hind legs and the front feet rarely touch
the ground. It locates ants' nests by smell and scratches them open with its
claws. It licks up the ants with its long (25-40 cm), round, sticky tongue. The
tongue folds into a in a pouch in the mouth when not extended. Pangolins
have no teeth. As a defence mechanism the pangolin rolls up in a ball with its
head protected by its tail. The scales have sharp edges which can inflict deep
cuts as the pangolin slides its tail sideways across its body. The young ride
crossways at the base of their mother's tail; when they are older they ride
lengthways on her back. If threatened, the mother rolls up around her offspring,
enclosing its head and most of its body.
Main feeding time: Mainly nocturnal but may be seen by
Size: Average total length of males is 81cm, total
length females 87 cm. The tail is slightly less than half the total
Gestation: Single young are born of gestation of 139
days during May to July. First takes solid food at 4 weeks.
Number of young at birth: One
Communication: A audible snuffling when feeding and a
hiss when rolling up into a ball.
Age: about 12 years
Diet: Mainly ants and termites
Interesting facts: Rounded dung, 4cm long,
containing termite exoskeletons and sand particles. Opened ants' nests.