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Giant Pangolin Facts

TAXONOMY

Manis gigantea Illiger, 1815, sort locality not recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Pangolin géant; Spanish: Pangolí gigante.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Giant pangolins have a head and physique size of 30-36 in (75-90 cm), a tail size of 18-30 in (50-80 cm), and a weight of 55-80 lb (25-35 kg). The feminine is smaller than the male. They are strictly floor dwelling (terrestrial) animals with broad sole cushions and blunt claws on the hind ft, and with forefeet containing giant digging claws. The species is the biggest of the order Pholidota. They have giant grayish brown scales, with whitish pores and skin and sparse hairs. The tongue measures the longest of the seven species, at about 16-27 in (40-70 cm), and might be pushed out 14-16 in (36-40 cm). The salivary glands, which provide the tongue with cheesy saliva to which ants and termites adhere, are the scale of goose eggs. They do not need exterior ears, have scales on the tail (however do not need scales beneath the tail), and have a breastbone that could be very lengthy.

DISTRIBUTION

Along the equator in Africa, from Senegal to Uganda and Angola.

HABITAT

Giant pangolins desire tropical rainforests, however will even inhabit forests and savannas. They don't occupy excessive altitudes. They normally dwell close to water. Burrows could also be up to 16 ft (5 m) deep and 130 ft (40 m) lengthy.

BEHAVIOR

They are nocturnal and ground-dwelling (terrestrial) animals, being lively primarily between midnight and daybreak when looking for food. Giant pangolins typically are noticed singly, however pairs might be discovered with younger. Terrestrial burrows are dug wherein to sleep inside throughout the day. They typically dig round giant termite nests, each above and under the bottom, utilizing highly effective fore-claws. The species makes use of gradual and deliberate actions. When strolling on all 4 legs, they curl of their entrance paws to defend the sharp entrance claws, really strolling on the outside of the wrists fairly than on the palms. They can stroll solely on the hind limbs, with the assistance of their lengthy tail for stability. Giant pangolins typically conceal inside or beneath stilt or platform roots of huge bushes. If threatened, big pangolins will typically roll themselves right into a ball, a way that protects themselves towards most enemies. If essential, they are going to lash out towards enemies with their sharp-scaled tail and spray urine and anal gland secretions. If close to water, they are going to plunge into the water, fairly than roll up, the place they will keep underwater for appreciable time, both swimming under the floor or strolling alongside the underside. At instances an enormous pangolin might rise on its hind legs and even try to defend itself by waving its immense fore-claws at its adversary. Unfortunately, with poor eyesight and listening to, they normally have Challenges figuring out the place their doable attackers are situated.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

They have a restricted weight loss plan, feeding totally on termites and ants but additionally typically consuming bigger bugs. Their giant digging claws allow them to tear open the subterranean and moundstype nests made by floor termites. They might eat up to 200,000 ants in an evening, with a abdomen capability of 0.5 gal (2 l). A prepared entry to consuming water is a necessity.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The gestation interval is about 5 months. Females give delivery to one younger at a time. Young are normally born in an underground nest. Weight at delivery is 14.2-17.eight oz (400-500 g). Newborns have gentle scales, which can harden in a number of days. Newborns can't stroll on their legs, however are lively and may crawl round on their stomachs. They will accompany their mom on feeding journeys, typically sitting on the bottom of her tail. Weaning, ####ual maturity, and life span are unknown.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, however deforestation for timber, agricultural growth, and concrete growth have decreased the scale of their habitat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

They are hunted for meat, nevertheless in some tribes its meat is forbidden to be eaten.