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Tree micropangola, walking pinecone

By AlexSone
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Tree micropangola, "walking pinecone" (Micropangola scandens)
Order: Pangolina (Pholidota)
Family: Pangolina (Manidae)
Habitat: tropical rainforests of Hindustan, South East Asia, tree cones.
The order Pholidota was never especially numerous and various. At the beginning of the evolution these animals have adapted to feed on insects, having become ecological analogues of anteaters in the Old World. This specialization caused their conservatism and imposed certain restrictions on the sizes of a body and a way of life, having allowed animals to vary in quite narrow limits. The upper limit of the body sizes of the pangolins is rather rigidly limited, but the bottom limit is limited by nothing, and it shows one of Neocene's species of pangolins – the tree micropangola.
This species is adapted to life in a tropical rainforest where it occupies the most wealth of life place – tree canopy. That it became possible, the animal had to offer in the sizes and physical power. From their relatives tree micropangola differs in the small sizes and the truncated snout. The length of a body of this animal is about a half a meter, and a half of this length takes a wide brawny tail. The body of micropangola is covered by horny scales, as at its ancestor. But the scales are rather thick and strong, and the scales along the spine have sharpen tips. On the head and paws the scales actually turn into the horn scutes located closely to each other. Primary color of scales is reddish-brown, The sides of the head are is a little more light.
This animal has short snout, but the tongue is long and flexible. Its base is shifted far back and attached to a chest bone. Due to elasticity of fibers lthe tongue can be put out from a mouth on the distance equal to double length of the head. Ears and eyes of the animal are small, and sight is bad. But it is compensated very much by keen sense of smell and touch which are used by food search. The being fed animal constantly taps on a tree with claws and by type of wood vibration determines existence of cavities in the wood mass – the tunnels and the chambers pierced by insects. Having felt their presence, it breaks wood by claws and thrusts the tongue into the opened tunnels, licking insects.
Paws of the tree micropangola are adapted for grab of the branches. On forepaws are strong, slightly bent claws, nestling on a palm, form strong grap, allowing an animal to cling even to thin branches. Feet of hinder legs are covered with the horny combs allowing more strongly to cling to a bark and branches. The end of a tail of the animal is expanded, and scales along the body edges are strong and peaked - it is an additional adaptation for fixing on a trunk and branches. A usual pose of a being fed animal is sitting a tail down. Thus scales at back edge of a tail are stuck in a bark and take up weight of an animal.
The main protective adaptation at this species are the strong horny scales. They defend tree micropangola from birds and small wood predators. Being defended, a micropangola sits across a branch, envelopes themself with tail as a ring, and covers with a tail tip the head. Due to strong muscles the animal can keep such pose about one hour. If the predator doesn't stop attempts of attack or is too strong, the tree micropangola can defend themself actively, offering it near battle which can end with serious injuries for the attacker. Thus, having grab a branch by hinder legs and having clasped it by the tail, the animal sharply throws up a body, strikes to the enemy some fast blows with large claws of forepaws, and then again clasps a branch and hides the head under a tail tip.
The seasonality in reproduction of this speciees isn't expressed, but in areas with monsoonal climate most of all youngs appears by a season of rains.The mating games of tree micropangola are primitive and are reduced to chase of a female by a male. After pairing the animals abandon each other. The young is always one; it keeps together with mother to three-months age then starts to lead a independent life. Life expectancy doesn't exceed 12 years.

The idea about existence of this species of mammals was stated by Simon, the member of a forum.
Image size
493x999px 496.81 KB
Shutter Speed
1/10 second
Focal Length
7 mm
Date Taken
Mar 23, 2012, 6:57:54 PM
Sensor Size
© 2012 - 2021 AlexSone
anonymous's avatar
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RubyBabyDragon's avatar
what medium is this?
AlexSone's avatar
Oil on hardboard
Dragonthunders's avatar
is wonderful. Amazing
Guyverman's avatar
I doubt Pangolins are going to make it past yhe human era
Guyverman's avatar
Human interferance.
ChileanKangaroo's avatar
Pangolines are really adaptable creatures they doesnt need the protection of the rainforest and Termites,ants or any other small insect will steal live on an earth post human so I dont see why pangolins will not survive
Jaldithas's avatar
I'm sure they would survive well in Neocene scenario, that's why I'm asking that guy why he thinks they would be doomed
ChileanKangaroo's avatar
sorry jaldithas i confuse of reply xD
AlexSone's avatar
Going to make what? Being tree insectivores?
Guyverman's avatar
They will inevitably die out.
AlexSone's avatar
electreel's avatar
I love your illustrations =) They are an important part of the project.
AlexSone's avatar
Thanks! I am glad to hear it!
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