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Cape Pangolin

Manis Temmincki

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Cape Pangolin (Manis Temmincki) Silhouette

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Description

Pangolin (Manis Temmincki) © Toursa

The Cape Pangolin is widely but sparsely distributed in Africa, occurring in a wide variety of habitats with sandy soil in dry to fairly humid types of savannah with adequate shelter. They do not occur in forest or desert regions.

The Pangolin is an unmistakable scale-covered small mammal. The very hard, dark grey-brown scales cover the body like roof tiles. It has a small pointed head which is partially covered with small scales and has no external ears and small eyes. They have powerful hind legs, short fore legs and a long heavy tail. Although it seems like the Pangolin walks on all four legs it actually walks on its hind legs and uses its tail and forelegs for balance. The forefeet are equipped with long, curved claws with which it digs and opens ant or termite mounds. The Pangolin's tongue is long, narrow and sticky and is used to eat ants and termites - their main food source.

They are solitary animals and mainly nocturnal. They live in unused burrows and sheltered undergrowth. When threatened they roll themselves into a ball, protected by their tough scales.

A single young is born from May to July after a gestation period of ±4 ½ months.

Other Names

Distribution

Distribution map of the Cape Pangolin
Distribution map
of the
Cape Pangolin

Taxonomy

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