| Long-tailed pangolin|
|Species|| M. pentadactyla|
Pangolins or scaly anteaters are several species of African and Asian mammals of the order Pholidota, characterized by the presence of large scales over much of their body, the only mammals to possess such a feature.
The eight living species of pangolins share a close resemblance to the New World anteaters. Pangolins are one to three feet in length excluding the tail, which in most of the species is prehensile; the long-tailed pangolin (Manis tetradactyla) has a tail twice its body length. The head is small relative to the body and conical in shape, with small eyes and ears; the long muzzle is toothless, and bears a tongue up to ten inches in length. The legs are short, bearing five, sharply-clawed toes, enabling the animal to pry apart termite mounds and insect nests under tree bark.
The scales are the most distinctive feature. Made of keratin, the scales serve as protective armor; indeed, the name comes from the Malay pengguling, a reference to the habit of the animal to roll up into a protective ball during a predatory attack. In addition to the scales, pangolins emit a foul-smelling secretion from their anal glands.
- Genus Manis