INDIAN PANGOLIN/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: The Indian Pangolin is a large, Old World anteater that has a faint pinkish white skin covered dorsally by a suit of  dirty yellow scales. Unlike in African Pangolins, the scales are sparsely covered with reddish brown hair, and the skin is visible only on its lower body and face. The scale colours vary in yellow and red overtones, depending on the earth that it burrows in. The face is small and the mouth tubular. The eyes are small, the ears are slits in the skin with a small ear pinna. The nose is rounded, with large nostrils, which have flaps that enable closure. The tongue is long and sticky. The hind legs have a calloused sole and short, blunt nails on their five toes, in sharp contrast to its powerful forelimbs armed with three very long claws (the other two being  shorter). The tail is long and ends in a scale.

BEHAVIOUR: Pangolins hiss sharply if confronted and then curl into a ball, which is very difficult to ‘unroll’. As they do not have teeth, curling is their primary defence mechanism. They can climb trees and swim when required to.

DISTRIBUTION: Found through most of India except the arid deserts, the high Himalayas and the North–East. Can go up to 2,500 m in the Nilgiris in southern India.

HABITAT: Scrub, urban cultivation, grassland, forests (deciduous and evergreen) and even semi-arid areas.

Size: HBL: 60–70 cm


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