P is for Pangolin

Finally I get to see one

The pangolin (also referred to as a scaly anteater or trenggiling) is a mammal of the order Pholidota. The one extant family, Manidae, has one genus, Manis, which comprises eight species. A number of extinct species are known. A pangolin has large keratin scales covering its skin, the only mammal with this adaptation.[2] It is found naturally in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia. The name, pangolin, comes from the Malay word, pengguling, meaning “something that rolls up”.

Pangolins are nocturnal animals which use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. The long-tailed pangolin is also active by day. Pangolins spend most of the daytime sleeping curled up into a ball.

There is also a superstition amongst the Shangaan People of South Africa, if one is killed and the blood from the Pangolin seeps into the earth they say the area will have a drought soon after.

After 53 years of traveling around Africa, I finally had my first sighting and it was well worth the wait, normally nocturnal these creatures are just never seen, if by chance you do spot one they move so fast before you know it they are gone.


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Sheena Knox

&Beyond Travel Specialist

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