This adorably unusual little critter with padding all over is the Pangolin. Much like the armadillo, the Pangolin is covered in body armor and can dig with its claws. It can’t walk on all fours because of its big claws, making it not very fast. However, the claws are useful for digging into ant holes and termite mounds. Another feature the Pangolin has is its long sticky tongue, useful for pulling the ants and termites out of their mounds for the Pangolin’s food.
Unlike the Pokemon Sandslash, which can fight other Pokemon in battle, the Pangolin does not fight predators with its sharp claws, although it can use its body armor for defense if it is threatened by predators, except the armor cannot defend the Pangolin from humans wanting it as both food and Chinese medicine.
But there is still hope for the Pangolin. Scientists around the world are working together in African and Asian countries to make sure the Pangolin species survives and thrives through animal conservation and research.
Will you join in to support the Pangolin’s survival? You can donate money to animal conservation groups, such as World Wildlife Fund, to save Pangolins in Africa and Asia.
Sugar gliders are found in Northern, Southern, and Eastern Australia. They live in large family groups from 15 – 30 or even more gliders. Like kangaroos and koalas, sugar gliders are marsupials. As their name states, sugar gliders can glide through the air. They use flaps of skin that they have attached between their arms like a hang glider to jump from tree to tree. (just like flying squirrels) I like sugar gliders not just because of their adorable faces, but also because I got to hold and pet one of my friends’ pet sugar gliders. I had never seen or even heard of a sugar glider, until I visited my friends in another state and saw the little guys. After that I asked my one of my friends if I could make a character based on him, but as a sugar glider. He said yes and named his character Tipit after his favorite sugar glider. I have loved sugar gliders ever since.
*Sugar gliders are nocturnal. (sleep during the day/ stay up all night.)
*Baby sugar gliders are called joeys, just like kangaroos and koalas.
*Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years in captivity. The average lifespan is 3 – 5 years in the wild.
*They can be kept as pets in certain parts of the world. But in the US there are some states where you can’t. These states are California, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The red panda is not a RED PANDA, it is another relative of the raccoon. Red pandas are nocturnal. (Sleep during the day, awake during the night.) They have retractable claws that help them climb tall trees, where they spend most of their time. Red pandas climb trees to escape predators and for females to nest in. Red pandas are found in South to Southeast Asia. I first saw red pandas (Like the Okapi) in the game Zoo Tycoon 2.
*Master Shifu in the Kung Fu Panda franchise is a red panda.
*Like domestic dogs and cats, red pandas like to mark their territory.
*Red pandas are Omnivores.(Eat bot h plants and meat)
Having a similar name to the ringtailed lemur and often being mistaken for a cat, the ringtail is actually related to the raccoon. The ringtail is a local to Arizona and can be found from the southwestern United States all the way down to southern Mexico. Ringtails are the Arizona state mammal. I have yet to see a ringtail in person, but I have seen many pictures and videos of these adorable little guys. I first saw a picture one in a book while doing a report on the state of Arizona in elementary school before I moved here.
*The ringtail became the state mammal in August of 1986
The world’s smallest monkey species, the pygmy marmoset is found in the jungle treetops of South America. Pygmy marmosets live together in groups with one dominant male, many females, and baby marmosets. Their lifespan is about 8-12 years. Though most find pygmy marmosets strange looking, I think their overly fluffy bodies and small faces are cute. The first time I HEARD of a pygmy marmoset was while watching one of The Grim Adventure of Billy & Mandy TV movies, where one of the “EVIL” robots exclaimed while asleep “I am dreaming I am a Pygmy Marmoset…”. Afterwards I went on to Google and saw a picture of one and have liked them ever since.
*Unfortunately pygmy marmosets are becoming popular pets for the rich and famous, causing illegal animal smuggling for exotic pets.
A distant cousin of the giraffe, the Okapi looks more like a zebra than a relative of the world’s tallest animal. The Okapi lives in the rain-forest of the Congo region of Africa. The first time I heard of the Okapi was in the PC game Zoo Tycoon 2, it was one of the many animals you could choose to put in your zoo.
*Although there were sightings of the okapi before this time, it was not known to scientist until 1901 when Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston sent pieces of it’s skin to the British Museum.
The Raccoon Dog (Tanuki) is a member of the canine family, though it has strong resemblance to a raccoon. Tanukis travel in pairs, a male and a female. There are two very unusual traits that raccoon dogs/tanukis have that most canines don’t, the ability to climb trees and to hibernate during winter. They can be found in Japan, other Eastern Asian countries, as well as parts of Europe. But they have become extinct in parts of China.
*In the Super Mario Bros. franchise there is a leaf shaped power up that turns the characters into a Tanuki (in game spelled Tanooki). First appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3.
*Tanuki/raccoon dogs can be found throughout Japanese folklore as mischievous shapeshifters.
*Raccoon Dogs are sometimes kept as pets.
*There is only one place to see raccoon dogs in the US, The Atlanta Zoo in Atlanta, Georgia.