The Scaly Pangolin

Being that I’m not feeling good, I have been sitting and watching a lot more TV that I ever have before. One type of program I have enjoyed is nature studies. Even though the lack of mentioning God bothers me, I do feel like I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned about different animals and more about animals I do know about.

One of those animals is the pangolin and even though some people think there is a connection between the pangolin and Covid – I don’t know enough about that so will stick to the facts I do know.

Many people haven’t heard of this scale-covered mammal (the only one), yet the pangolin are the most illegally hunted animal in the world. Poachers are causing them to go extinct. Unfortunately, unlike many animals, zoos, bio labs, and nature sanctuaries have a tough time breeding and raising them to replenish the population.. First, they have one baby at a time and second, replicating their environment is difficult.

Poachers want them because of their meat – considered a delicacy in China. They also want their scales and collect them by the ton. The Chinese believe they have healing powers for all kinds of diseases but nothing has been proven. Still the poachers are out to get them.

Here’s some facts about the pangolin. They live in Africa and Asia. Sometimes they are called scaly anteaters because they only eat ants or termites and also because they are covered with scales that are so hard they are said to be bulletproof.

When a predator comes, they curl up in a ball and are impenetrable. A fascinating YouTube video shows a lion attempting to bite into one for several minutes – finally he gives up. (The scales are made of the same material as fingernails.) They have tails longer than their bodies and tongues two feet long.

Most kinds are nocturnal. They walk around on their back legs looking for termite or ant nests or other food.

The name pangolin comes from the Malayan word meaning “rolled over.” (Because of their defense of curling in a tight ball to keep away predators.)

They don’t ever have to go to the dentist because they DON’T have teeth. That’s when their long, sticky tongues comes in handy as their tongues explore the nests of ants and termites.

They are indeed a unique member of God’s awesome creation.

One program I watched continued to talk about evolution, but every few minutes would say “oh, another miracle” while talking about a fascinating animal or animal habit — momentarily forgetting science and focusing on the unbelievable wonder of it all.

God has created so many fascinating animals for us to enjoy. The pangolin is just one of them. Remind your children to thank God for His glorious creation – and we need to do so too.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.
(Job 12:7-10)

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