Rainforest Animals – Giant Pangolin

Name:

Giant Pangolin

Scientific Name:

Manis gigantea

position:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Pholidota

Family: Manidae

Genus: Manis

Species: M. gigantea

General Information:

The giant pangolin is the largest species of pangolin, or “scaly anteaters”, in the world. Its behavior is not widely known due to its nocturnal character. It is classified as a “Least Concern” species, but nevertheless faces pressure from habitat destruction and hunting. It is hunted as bushmeat, and is also considered by some to have medicinal similarities.

Physical Description:

The most distinctive characterize of the pangolin are its sharing characteristics scales, which can be brownish-red in color, and give it the turn up of having armor. It also has a long prehensile tail, which is also scaled. Its head is small, long, and pointed. To ease its dietary habits, the giant pangolin has 5 long, curved claws per foot, and a long sticky tongue. It uses the former characterize to dig and the latter to lap up its meal.

Diet:

As with all other pangolins, the giant pangolin is a specialized insectivore. It lacks both teeth and the ability to chew, comprising its diet almost thoroughly on ants and termites. When gathering its prey, it puts its claws and tongue to good use, tearing into termite nests and anthills and them lapping up its unearthed food.

Habitat:

The giant pangolin is a denizen of the savanna and the forest (including the rainforest). It occurs in areas where termites are abundant, and near water. Its range spans across the equator of Africa, from western Africa to Uganda, with the highest concentration existing in Uganda, Tanzania, and western Kenya.

Reproduction:

As mentioned above, there are many aspects of the giant pangolin’s behavior that remains unknown to us. However, what is known is that young pangolins are born with open eyes and soft scales. They, at first, cannot walk on their legs but are able to move on their stomachs.

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