The Pangolin is an average sized mammal with overlapping scales covering its body and a small head. Despite being the most trafficked animal in the world, many have not heard of it. This may be because the pangolin is highly secretive and tends to hide itself away from people, other animals, and even other pangolins.
There are a total of 8 species of Pangolin residing in Asia and Africa, named after their geographical location, habitat, and physical characteristics. A unique physical characteristic that separates them are the bristle-like hairs between the scales on the Asian Pangolin, which the African Pangolin does not have. As mentioned before, these mammals are the most trafficked in the world. This is because their scales are believed to have health benefits to the human society. Interestingly, their scales are made of Keratin, a protein which can be found in human nails and hair as well. It is also because their meat is considered a delicacy in some places. This entails that some species are critically endangered.
I am a Pangolin, an insect eating mammal. I eat a substantial amount of 200 000 insects per day, due to the extraordinarily little amount of nutrients in each insect. Unlike other animals, my tongue is connected to my rib cage and sits in the chest cavity instead of my mouth. It is sticky and long, this is how I grasp many insects at once. We often swallow stones to help digest our food as we do not have teeth. The stones act as teeth and grind food in our stomachs until they are small enough to excrete. Our eyesight is terribly poor due to our nocturnal nature, though our hearing and smell assists us in finding food. We are harmless and innocent, and do not pose any threat to humans or animals, yet our species is endangered. Our only hope beyond the wild is humankind preserving us and allowing us to live in our natural habitats, in this way we would have a fair chance to survive and even grow as a species.
Wild and Free Foundation is a non-profit organization. We are dedicated to finding and implementing holistic conservation strategies for the benefit of wildlife and for the benefit of local communities.