White-Bellied Tree Pangolin

White-Bellied Tree Pangolin Phataginus tricuspis

Type of Animal:

Tropical moist forest, forest-savanna mosaic, cultivated/fallow land, tropical savanna

W & C Africa as well as N Angola, extreme NW Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, parts of Kenya, & extreme NW Tanzania

Small pointy head, elongated snout, long tail, 5 long curved claws on each foot, noticeable light thin scales w/ sharp edges, color ranges from dark brown to dark olive-brown to pale brown to yellowish-brown, scales cover whole body except for belly/snout/eyes/ears, whitish belly

Ants, termites, bee larvae, flies, worms, crickets

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & breeding centers. Only 7 institutions in North America keep this species-Pangolin Conservation in St Augustine, Florida; Brookfield Zoo in Chicago; Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ; Memphis Zoo; Pittsburgh Zoo; Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX; & Columbus Zoo. San Diego Zoo used to have this species. Pangolin Conservation has been at the forefront & supplied all the other institutions w/ pangolins.


Additional Info:

Young: Pup
Group: Solitary
Male: 5.3 lbs
Female: 3.7 lbs
Young: 2.25 lbs

4 months

Life Span:
10-13 years

Male: 1.42 ft
Female: 1.08 ft

Body Length:
Male: 1.42 ft
Female: 1.08 ft
Young: 0.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 2 ft
Female: 1.58 ft

Main predators are leopards, hyenas, snakes, lions, & golden cats.
Also called three-cusped pangolin, scaly anteater, & small-scaled tree pangolin.
Primarily tree-dwelling (arboreal) but can walk on all 4s or on hind legs using prehensile tail for balance.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Since they lack teeth, they have gizzard-like stomach full of sand/stones they ingest.
When threatened, they roll up into a ball. Sometimes, they’ll spray foul smelling liquid.
Endangered due to bushmeat trade, wildlife trafficking, habitat loss, logging, & hunting for medicinal purposes/scales/meat.
Poor eyesight but excellent sense of smell.
Sexually mature at 5 months old.

Fun Fact(s):
Scales can make up 20% of body weight.
Closest living relatives most likely animals of order Carnivora.
These animals & the 7 other pangolin species only mammals w/ scales.
Can eat up to 7 oz of insects in a day, equating to approximately 70 million insects per year.
Scales believed by some to have healing powers when ground into powder or worn as ornaments. Others believe they guard against evil spirits.
Scales made of keratin-same thing our fingernails/hair made out of.
Name pangolin comes from Malay word “pengguling” meaning rolling over, due to habit of rolling into ball.
Tongue can range from 0.83-2.25 ft in length, perfect for lapping up prey.

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