Small-scaled tree pangolin
The tree pangolin spends the day in hollow trees or excavated termite nests, seeking ant and termite nests by scent at night.
Unknown, but one pangolin has lived 13 years in captivity.
A small species of pangolin, with short legs and covered in brownish red overlapping scales making it look like a pinecone. Its long tail has a bare patch at the tip to help it hang from trees, and it also has a scale-less snout, and chin. The scales have three points (although these become worn with age), giving the animal its scientific name. The head is small and long-snouted, with small eyes covered with thickened lids. There are also small ears. Each foot has five long, curved claws and the animal has to walk with its weight mostly on its hind legs and its feet curled inwards.
From Senegal to western Kenya and south to Zambia.
Ants and termites.
Pangolins are shy and mainly solitary, using scent marking around their territories. Tree pangolins spend the day sleeping in a hollow tree stump or excavated termite mound, and come out to forage at night, using scent to find ant and termite nests in the trees or on the ground. They excavate the nests with their claws and use their long sticky tongues to eat the insects.
Males have large territories which overlap those of several females. A single youngster is born after a gestation of 150 days. The scales harden in the first few days, and the youngster is often carried on the mother's tail. They leave the mother after 5 months.
Not thought to be threatened.
An aggressive huff.
Fossil pangolins are first found in the Eocene in Europe. In the Messel shales of Germany they are particularly well preserved, showing that their characteristic scales were already developed. Recent DNA analysis has shown them to be bizarre offshoots of the Carnivora - the carnivores such as cats, dogs, bears, hyenas, civets and mongooses.