Monday, September 01, 2008

Creatures of Laos: Pangolins

Known as the Chinese Pangolin, this interesting creature can occasionally be spotted in Laos and Southeast Asia, from reports of different travelers who've encountered it.

A pilot for the US Forward Air Controllers in Tim Robbins' classic work, The Ravens mentioned the pangolin and other unusual creatures being brought to the base at Long Tieng during the mid-20th century.

Pangolins are nocturnal and very shy but can live in a wide range of settings, typically open country with large termite mounds.

Pangolins are usually on the ground and slow moving. But they're also agile climbers.

Pangolins get their preferred food from the mounds of ants and termites, using their claws and probing for insects with a long tongue which can reach up to 25 cm.

Pangolins dig burrows up to 3 meters long. Watch out for their strong claws.

You can tell the difference between an Asian pangolin and the African pangolins by the hair at the base of the scales of pangolins in Asia.

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