IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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The giant ground pangolin is an elusive nocturnal species that passes the day hidden under plant debris or out of sight deep in its burrow. Come nightfall it typically goes in search of ant and termite mounds in order to feed upon the multitudinous residents teeming within (2) (5) (8). Resting on its broad, heavy tail it uses its powerful claws to tear open the mounds and its long, sticky tongue to probe the cracks and tunnels for the nutritious quarry (2) (5). Naturally, the frenzied insects swarm the pangolin, but thick skin, tough eyelids, closable nostrils and internal ears are effective adaptations to the otherwise painful stings and bites (2) (4). Pangolins are normally solitary but occasionally a male and female live together in the same burrow with their offspring (5) (8). Little is known about pangolin breeding biology, except that females usually carry the developing embryo for around 140 days before giving birth to a single young (2). The newborn is nursed by the female for three to four months and will accompany her on foraging bouts riding on the base of the tail (8).


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© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

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