TAXONOMY

Manis temminckii Smuts, 1832, northern Cape Province, South Africa.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Cape pangolin, South African pangolin, Temminck’s floor pangolin, scaly anteater; French: Pangolin de Temminck; Spanish: Pangolín del cabo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Ground pangolins have a head and physique size of 20–24 in (50–60 cm), a tail size of 14–20 in (35–50 cm), and a weight of 33.0–39.6 lb (15–18 kg). (Ground pangolins are comparable in most respect to Chinese pangolins.) They do not need exterior ears, have scales on the tail (however do not need scales beneath the tail), and the rear a part of the breastbone could be very lengthy. The hind ft have broad sole cushions and blunt claws, and the forefeet comprise massive digging claws. Their sharp scales are massive and moveable, with colorations of grayish brown to darkish brown. Scale coloration helps them to mix into many various environment. The pores and skin is whitish with high-quality, darkish hairs. Ground pangolins have small, pointed heads and small eyes which might be protected by specialised thick eyelids. They bury their feces in small depressions that it scrapes within the floor.

DISTRIBUTION

From Chad and Sudan in central Africa, south by means of Kenya and Tanzania, to Namibia and the northern elements of South Africa.

HABITAT

Ground pangolins choose steppes, prairies, thick brush, open grasslands, and savannas with each excessive and low rainfall quantities. They present little territorial habits. Burrows are often about 6–eight in (15–20 cm) in diameter, and prolong a number of ft (meters) underground.

BEHAVIOR

Ground pangolins are nocturnal, ground-dwellers (terrestrial) animals that sometimes climb bushes and bushes. They are solitary animals, solely becoming a member of collectively throughout mating. The species dig burrows inside which to sleep in the course of the day. Ground pangolins transfer quickly over the bottom, generally up to 160 ft (50 m) per minute. They typically halt, rise with the assist of the tail, sniff the air, and search for attainable predators.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

They tear open termite mounds and ant nests, each in bushes and on the bottom, with their massive claws, and lick up bugs and their larvae. They are selective in what species of termites they eat. The termites of the genera Amitermes, Ancistrotermes, Macrotermes, Microcerotermes, Microtermes, Odontotermes, and Trinervitermes are most frequently eaten by first detecting (with their eager sense of scent) these most well-liked genera earlier than opening the hill.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Males might battle for the chance to mate. Females breed at any time of the year, even when they're nonetheless rearing different younger. The gestation interval is about 120–140 days. Females give delivery to one, generally two, younger at a time. Young are born in floor dens. Birth weight is 10.7–14.2 oz (300–400 g). They are carried outside on the mom’s again or tail at 2–four weeks of age. Young will start to feed on their very own by three months of age, however are nonetheless carried till they weigh about 7 lb (three kg). Weaning, ####ual maturity, and life span are typically unknown.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened. This species could be very susceptible to inhabitants decreases due to its nice financial worth to people and habitat loss to agriculture.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

They are sometimes killed for his or her flesh and scales. Ground pangolins are known as bwana mganga “bwana doctor” in East Africa as a result of each a part of their physique is alleged to possess therapeutic properties.


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