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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Did You Know? 13 Incredible Ground Pangolin Facts

Ground pangolin facts are interesting.

The ground pangolin or Temminck’s ground pangolin, named after the Dutch zoologist, is the most widespread of the four African pangolin species, occurring from northern South Africa through most of east Africa and Asia. This species is terrestrial in nature and prefers savannah and woodland habitats only. These animals are found residing near water sources under deep drugged burrows. Ground pangolins are solitary animals. They live alone and prefer being on their own for their entire life unless it is the breeding season. Pangolins are known for their tough scales and, in times of danger, tree pangolins roll themselves up into a ball and try to hideaway. These creatures are very picky in terms of their lifestyle as well as appetite. They are very selective with species of ants and termites that they consume, and do not simply eat what's available easily.

Read on to discover more fun facts about this animal! For more relatable content, check out these rock hyrax facts and shrew facts for kids.

Ground Pangolin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a ground pangolin?

A Temminck's ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is a mammal and belongs to the Animal kingdom.

What class of animal does a ground pangolin belong to?

The ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) belongs to the mammals class of the animal kingdom. This pangolin species tends to have a body covered with scales made of keratin.

How many ground pangolins are there in the world?

It is not possible to accurately determine the range of the population of ground pangolins in the world. However, this type of pangolin species is native to 15 African countries that are distributed throughout east, central, and South Africa. Their population has been continuously declining.

Where does a ground pangolin live?

The giant ground pangolin lives in savannah woodlands and low elevated regions with scrubs. This giant ground pangolin is unevenly dispersed in and around the African continent especially the southern, central, and eastern regions. These animals are also found in a few other regions of Asia and Africa. They have been rarely spotted in regions of China and Vietnam.

What is a ground pangolin's habitat?

The ground pangolin is one among the four species that are found in the African continent. It is often referred to as the African ground pangolin. The ground pangolin is a nocturnal animal, meaning it prefers to hunt and stay active only at night once the sun has set. Similar to many nocturnal creatures, the ground pangolin is a solitary animal. These animals are found residing near water sources under deep drugged burrows. They like to spend their time on the ground, unlike the white-bellied pangolin or black-bellied pangolin who have been often spotted moving around trees and forests. It is quite hard to study this animal accurately in the wild due to its habitat.

Who do ground pangolins live with?

Ground pangolins are solitary animals. They live alone and prefer being on their own for their entire life unless it is breeding season. They use their sharp sense of smell to locate their mates during this period and avoid any contact with them once the period is over.

How long does a ground pangolin live?

The ground pangolin can live up to 20 years of age in the wildlife.

How do they reproduce?

Temminck's ground pangolins are solitary animals and only come together for a brief period for breeding after attaining sexual maturity at the age of two. It has been observed that males and females find each other while out looking for food, through the scent of urine that is left by the female to mark her territory. The male will approach the female and after coming together the male will mount her from the side. They will eventually move to the female's burrow and remain together in the burrow for as long as three days, mating at frequent intervals. There has been no record of a specific breeding period for the pangolin, but they have been often seen together in pairs during the summertime. The female usually gives birth to a single offspring after a period of 140 days of gestation. Only in some rare circumstances, she can give birth to twins.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these pangolins has been listed as Vulnerable by IUCN. Specifically, the four species found in Asia are Critically Endangered. The species found in Africa, the African ground pangolin, has been categorized as Vulnerable but is close to Endangered.

Ground Pangolin Fun Facts

What do ground pangolins look like?

Ground pangolins are 19.3 in (49 cm) long and 47.6 in (121 cm) tall. These creatures are covered in overlapping scales all the way up to the tail. The pangolin scales are made up of the same matter that human hair and nails are, keratin. Adult pangolins are usually dark brown or olive in color and often resemble a pinecone. Their bellies are covered with thick fur. These animals are sometimes called the black-bellied pangolin. There are eight species of this kind and in all of the eight species, the tail length ranges from 10-28 in (25.4-71.1 cm). Their tails are very long and broad and are very strong as they play an important role in helping these animals find balance since they only walk on their hindlegs and rarely use their forelegs. They have five toes with claws on each leg with three long and curved claws. Their heads are small and conical. They do not have any teeth. Now, you might wonder how these creatures chew? The stomach of these animals is very muscular and consists of spines that project inward into the stomach that helps them mash and grind food.

The ground pangolin resembles an artichoke.

How cute are they?

Ground pangolins are very cute mammals and resemble artichokes which makes them even cuter.

How do they communicate?

Ground pangolins are solitary animals. They do not communicate often unless it is the breeding season. However, they alert other pangolins of their territory by marking it with their urine. Pangolin scales often make sounds while they walk around by rubbing each other.

How big is a ground pangolin?

Ground pangolins are 19.3 in (49 cm) long and 47.6 in (121 cm) tall. They closely resemble tree pangolins and are nearly four times bigger than tenrecs.

How fast can a ground pangolin move?

The ground pangolin can run as fast as 3 mph (5 kph) using their hind legs that help them run faster and climb trees. They can also stand up and run on two legs while using their long strong tail for support and balance.

How much does a ground pangolin weigh?

The ground pangolin weighs 26.5 lb (12 kg). They weigh twice as much as the Sunda pangolin. The Sunda pangolin weighs about 11 lb (5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both sexes are known by the same name, ground pangolin, around the world.

What would you call a baby ground pangolin?

A baby ground pangolin is called a pup.

What do they eat?

The diet of the ground pangolin consists only of ants and termites that are found on the ground or on trees. The diet of these animals has never consisted of anything else other than ants and termites and very rarely similar types of insects.

Are they dangerous?

No, the ground pangolin is considered to be a very shy animal. They are not dangerous in any way. However, they may get aggressive when another male pangolin enters their territory.

Would they make a good pet?

The ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) can not be kept as a pet. Since they are a Vulnerable species, it has been declared illegal to keep one as a pet.

Did you know...

The primary reason this species is Threatened or Critically Endangered is due to the steep rise in hunting and poaching.

The burrows that these mammals dig up can be as big as a human. They are usually so spacious that a human can comfortably stand and sleep in them.

Pangolins are very shy creatures and do not possess a threat to humans in any way. In fact when they sense danger coming the way they usually curl up into a ball and hide away in their scales.

These pangolins are also called the cape pangolin.

Another famous species of pangolins is the giant pangolin or Smutsia gigantea. The Smutsia gigantea or giant pangolin closely resembles the white-bellied pangolin. These pangolins too have scales that are made up of keratin.

Do people eat pangolins?

Yes, the native people of China and Vietnam consume pangolin meat. It is seen as a delicacy with a veal like texture and also has nutritional value to aid kidney function.

What is special about pangolins?

Pangolins are unique and special in several ways, from their habitat to their appearance. They are considered to have more vertebrae than any other animal in the wildlife. Females usually protect the child for over two months and they even use their tails to carry their young pup around.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our giant anteater interesting facts and Andean hairy armadillo fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pangolin coloring pages.

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