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Reproduction
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Little is known about the reproduction of this species. Two birth records indicate that a litter was found in September and another in October. The young weighed about 500 g at birth. The newborn has soft scales and its eyes are open. It cannot walk on its legs, but it is active and can scramble around on its stomach.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Deborah Ciszek, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Behavior
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Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Conservation Status
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The abundance of giant pangolins is not well known, since they have not been studied in detail and because they are nocturnal, which makes them difficult to observe casually. It is clear that deforestation for timber, urban development and agricultural development have decreased the amount of habitat available. Hunting also decreases population levels. Manis gigantea is listed on CITES appendix II.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Deborah Ciszek, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Manis_gigantea/conservation_status
Benefits
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There are no known adverse effects of Manis gigantea on humans.

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Manis_gigantea/economic_importance_negative
Benefits
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Pangolins are hunted for their meat and for their scales, which are considered very desirable due to their use in native medicines and rituals.

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Deborah Ciszek, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Trophic Strategy
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Giant pangolins eat ants and termites. The dig into both subterranean and mound-type termite nests with their powerful claws, and they can eat a large quantity of these insects. Pangolins must also have access to drinking water.

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Manis_gigantea/food_habits
Distribution
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Giant pangolins live in Africa, along the equator from West Africa to Uganda.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Habitat
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This species lives in forests and savannahs where termites are abundant and water is available. It does not occur at high altitudes.

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Morphology
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The typical mass range of this species is not known, but one individual was found to weigh 33 kg. Male body length is about 140 cm; female about 125 cm. Manis gigantea is the largest of its genus, giving it the name "giant pangolin." It is covered with large, thick scales and has no hair (except eyelashes). The snout is long, and the scales are usually brown or reddish brown. It has long claws on the front feet and a long, wide tail.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ciszek, D. 1999. "Manis gigantea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Manis_gigantea.html
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Giant pangolin
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The giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) is a pangolin species. Members of the species inhabit Africa with a range stretching along the equator from West Africa to Uganda. The giant pangolin is the largest species of pangolins, or "scaly anteaters" – the large, scaled mammals belonging to the family Manidae. It subsists almost entirely on ants and termites. The species was first described by Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger in 1815.

Description

The giant pangolin is the largest of all pangolin species. While its average mass has not been measured, one specimen was found to weigh 33 kg (72.6 lb). Males are larger than females, with male body lengths about 140 cm (4.6 ft) and females about 125 cm (4.1 ft). Like all pangolins, the species is armored with large, brown to reddish-brown scales formed from keratin. Curiously, it also has eyelashes. The giant pangolin has a long snout, a long, thick tail, and large front claws.

The animal has a strong sense of smell and large anal glands. Its secretions may be significant to animal communication. The species walks with most of its weight is on its columnar rear legs, and curls its front paws, walking on the outside of the wrists rather than the palms to protect the claws. By using its tail for balance, it often walks upright as a biped.

Distribution and habitat

The giant pangolin inhabits many countries, with the largest concentration in Uganda, Tanzania, and western Kenya. It is found mainly in the savanna, rainforest, and forest, inhabiting areas with large termite populations and available water. It does not inhabit high-altitude areas.

Behavior

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Specimen

The giant pangolin, like other pangolins, is nocturnal, which makes observation difficult. It is also usually solitary, although in one case an adult was seen in a burrow with a juvenile. The species is capable of climbing trees and other objects.

Diet

Like all pangolins, the giant pangolin is a specialized insectivore that lacks teeth and the ability to chew. Its diet mainly consists of ants and termites, which it finds by tearing open anthills and termite nests, both subterranean and mound-type.

Because of its relatively large size, the giant pangolin is particularly well-suited to breaking open termite mounds by leaning on the mound and resting its weight on its tail, and then ripping into the mound with its front claws. The combination of weight and physical damage quickly leads to a partial collapse of the mound, exposing the termites. Only the adults are strong enough to do this; their young must follow behind their mothers until they grow large enough to do it for themselves. It eats the insects by picking them up with its sticky tongue, which is up to 16 in (41 cm) long.

Reproduction

Very little information about the reproduction of the giant pangolin is known. Two birth records exist, with one litter in September and another in October, with the young weighing around 500 g (18 oz). As in all pangolins, infants have soft scales that eventually harden, and are born with open eyes. They cannot walk on their legs, but can move on their bellies. During age 6–8 weeks, the young often spew a yellow secretion from their anal glands(that is often said to smell of decay and cabbage) to keep predators and other animals from taking advantage of their mothers.

Conservation

Due to habitat destruction and deforestation, the species is in great decline, and this, together with hunting of it as bushmeat and for the supposed medicinal properties of its scales, has led to concerns about population levels. The scale of the problem has recently been highlighted by the Traffic conservation programme.[4] Because the species is nocturnal, few studies have been carried out. Currently, this pangolin is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN.[2]

References

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  1. ^ Schlitter, D.A. (2005). "Order Pholidota". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 530. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ a b Waterman, C.; Pietersen, D.; Hywood, L.; Rankin, P. & Soewu, D. (2014). "Smutsia gigantea". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2014: e.T12762A45222061. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-2.RLTS.T12762A45222061.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  3. ^ Gaudin, Timothy (28 August 2009). "The Phylogeny of Living and Extinct Pangolins (Mammalia, Pholidota) and Associated Taxa: A Morphology Based Analysis" (PDF). Journal of Mammalian Evolution. 16 (4): 235–305. doi:10.1007/s10914-009-9119-9. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  4. ^ "The trade of African pangolins to Asia: a brief case study of pangolin shipments from Nigeria" (PDF). Traffic Bulletin. 28 (1). 2016.

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Giant pangolin: Brief Summary
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The giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) is a pangolin species. Members of the species inhabit Africa with a range stretching along the equator from West Africa to Uganda. The giant pangolin is the largest species of pangolins, or "scaly anteaters" – the large, scaled mammals belonging to the family Manidae. It subsists almost entirely on ants and termites. The species was first described by Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger in 1815.

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