It’s Pangolin Appreciation Day again!
That’s right, motherfuckers. This is a thing now.
Pangolins are little mammals who can be anywhere from one to three feet long. They look like this.
Those scales are made of keratin (see also, fingernails, hooves, antlers, horns, etc.), and they make up 20% of the pangolin’s body weight. Baby pangolins’ scales are soft, but adults’ are hard and have sharp edges. When they’re threatened, they roll up into a ball like so.
This usually results in some fairly irritated predators.
Pangolins don’t have any teeth. Instead of teeth, they have completely ridiculous tongues, with which they slurp up insects once they find a colony. They can stick those honking things out over a foot, and they’re anchored in their chests (giant anteaters’ tongues also have this adaptation; those suckers are anchored to their fucking sternums, guys).
They can secrete a skunk-like musk as a defense mechanism, but they can’t spray it.
They can swim!
They use their mammoth fuck-off foreclaws to rip open termite mounds and insect colonies inside trees. Because they’re so huge and non-retractable, pangolins don’t walk on their front feet. They balance and shuffle along on their hind legs, so they always look like Montgomery Burns when they’re on the go.
Tree pangolins can use those claws to rip open insect colonies while hanging from their fucking tails from a fucking tree. Basically, they’re armor-plated ninjas who can’t be disarmed and might give you a savage long-distance licking into the bargain. Behold!
That pangolin thinks you’re just there for her to hang off of.
That pangolin is right. You are also there for her to perch on.
In conclusion, pangolins are awesome.
I have a new favourite animal, I think.