pangolins

PHOTOS: Pangolins Are Scaly, Adorable and Endangered. But You Can Help!

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Last time, we told you about the red panda, the adorable little guy on the endangered species list. Pangolins might not be quite as fluffy, but they’re still pretty adorable, and need your help.

Pangolins are also called scaly anteaters or trenggilings, which is really fun to say. Trenggiling!

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program

 

There are six eight different species of pangolin; four live in Asia, and two four in Africa. This guy’s a Chinese pangolin.

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens

This is a long-tailed pangolin, from western and central Africa. It’s an apt name.

long tailed pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered

They eat bugs with their really long tongues.

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered

Pangolins live in hollow trees and burrows.

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
Christian Boix

Pangolins can roll up to protect themselves from predators, just like armadillos or roly-poly bugs. This lioness is saying “No, thwarted again by the mighty pangolin! Nooooooo!”

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered

Pangolins are the only mammal with scales covering their body made of keratin. Keratin’s the stuff our hair and fingernails are made of. This is what they look like up close:

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered

Unfortunately, Pangolins are popular – they’re the most trafficked mammal in the world. It’s believed Pangolin scales, when ground, can cure asthma or cancer – of course, this isn’t true. Their meat is also a popular dish.

Between humans hunting them and deforestation, pangolins are threatened species, with two species listed as critically endangered. But seriously, how could you eat this little guy?

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
Sukree Sukplang/Reuters

Luckily there are organizations devoted to saving the pangolin. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature‘s SSC Pangolin Specialist Group is the largest, but SavePangolins.org has a list of other groups working for pangolins around the world, like this cute baby:

gay blog: A newborn  baby pangolin with its mother

Little known fact: Pangolins love to do the “Thriller” dance:

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
Stephen Hogg/WWF Malaysia

Pangolin babies are a literal handful:

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered

Here’s one last pangolin for you to look at today, but let’s work together to make sure it’s not the last pangolin we get to look at ever.

pangolin, endangered, adorable, critically endangered
David Brossard