The Ground Pangolin according to MammalMAP
The ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), also known as Temmnick’s Pangolin or the Cape Pangolin, is one of four species of pangolin which can be found in Africa and the only one in southern and eastern Africa. The Pangolin measures over 1 m in length and weighs up to 18 Kg. The body is protected by armour of imbricated brown scales, which uniquely identifies this species amongst all mammals. Except for the forehead, there are no scales on the head or belly, or on the inner surfaces of the legs.
Since Pangolins are entirely insectivorous, an abundant availability of ants and termites to sustain subsistence, governs its occurrence. Another factor determining occurrence is the availability of burrows or other forms of shelter. They feed predominantly on formicid ants. Pangolins appear to be highly selective feeders in that only 19 species of ants and termites are taken.
It locates prey by smell, even under the soil surface. When prey is located, tunnels are opened up with the well-equipped front paws. The 250 mm long, rod-shaped tongue is covered with sticky saliva. This is used as a tool to collect prey by inserting it into the termite tunnels. When withdrawn it is covered with trapped prey which is gathered into the mouth.
In South Africa the ground pangolin ranges over most of the former eastern, northern and western Transvaal, northern KwaZulu-Natal, and north-eastern Cape, from where its distribution continues into neighbouring countries.
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