Long-tailed pangolin - Claws Tougher than Concrete

Long-tailed pangolinThe Long-tailed pangolin (Manis tetradactyla) is a fascinating creature, looking a bit like a walking pinecone. These species are usually found in the trees of dense rainforests, from Uganda to Senegal and Angola. Their scales are dark brown or pale olive green and are distinct. They range in size from 30 to 40cm (11.8 - 15.7 inches) in length and two to three kgs (4.4 to 6.6 lbs) in weight. Their very long tails are 60 to 70cm (23.6 - 27.6 inches) in length. This species of pangolin has a life expectancy of 13 years in captivity. It is unknown how long they can live in the wild.

The diet of the Long-tailed pangolin consists mostly of ants and termites. They make use of their long and sticky tongues to capture their prey, and they have no teeth. These animals find their food using their amazing sense of smell, which can sense termites and ants from hundreds of feet away. If the Long-tailed pangolin is attacked by a predator, it will curl into a small, tight ball, make a hissing sound, shake its scales and emit a distinct, foul-smelling liquid. They can even roll away from a dangerous situation if they need to.

They are generally solitary animals, spending daylight hours sleeping or climbing in trees, searching for food.
In fact, they rarely come in contact with the ground at all, although they are good swimmers. They spend their nights in the hollows of trees.

In general, Long-tailed pangolins are born between November and March. Gestation takes about 120 to 150 days. The birth weight of baby pangolins ranges from 3-18 ounces (85.4-512.5 grams) and usually only one baby is born at a time. Young pangolins mature in two years.

Some of the natural enemies of the Long-tailed pangolin include leopards, hyenas and pythons. Human beings are also thought of as a predator. While not much is known about the exact number of Long-tailed pangolins in existence, the number of pangolins is declining in general. They are hunted for meat by many African tribes, their skin is used for boots and their scales are thought to have medicinal and ceremonial value. The destruction of the rainforest is another reason that their numbers declining, but their status is not of a large concern to conservationists at this time.

Keywords: black , tail , nocturnal , scale , brown

The Black-bellied pangolin, long-tailed pangolin is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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