The order Pholidota is exclusive to the seven species of pangolins found throughout Africa and Asia. Although these slow and deliberate animals may initially look related to anteaters, it is now believed that their similarities may be more accurately described as adaptations to a common way of life rather then to actual relationship.
Pangolins are often called "Scaly Anteaters" because of the abundance of scales covering their bodies. The top of the head and limbs, as well as the entire back and tail, are completely scaled. These scales, coupled with the ability to curl into a tight ball, give these unique animals a very capable defense against predators.
Pangolin skulls have an elongated snout. This is a tell-tale sign of an animal whose mouth must support a 25cm-long tongue. This long tongue is utilized to probe into ant and termite burrows to extract these insects for consumption. This diet of soft insects explains the pangolins total lack of teeth as well as their poorly developed attachments for chewing muscles
ITEMS in the Family: Manidae