Since all armadillos and pangolins have a defensive shield covering the top of their bodies, they are easily confused. Because of their behavior and dietary similarity, they are often lumped in with anteaters. However, physical characteristics, climate, taxonomy, behavior, and reproduction vary significantly between the two mammals.
Armadillos are a one-of-a-kind mammal belonging to the Cingulata order, which is part of the Xenarthra superorder. The order contains almost 20 living species of armadillo, with the nine-branded armadillo being the only one found in North America. The nine-branded armadillo is easily recognized thanks to the bands that encircle its body.
Its name means “little armored one” in Spanish, referring to the bony plates that cover the majority of their body. South America, Central America, and the southern United States are also home to armadillos.
Pangolins are scaly anteaters belonging to the Pholidota order of placental mammals, and they are one of the most rare mammal orders. Pangolins are often mistaken for reptiles, but they are scaly-skinned mammals with a dense underlying skin covered in epidermal scales, which distinguishes them from all other mammals. Pangolins do not have teeth, but they ground their food with strong muscles and tiny pebbles in their stomach. Pangolins can be found in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Armadillos have longer tails and shorter limbs than pangolins and are usually heavier. Their snouts are long and tube-shaped, and their eyes are small and pointed. They range in size from nine to sixteen pounds, and the average size is around 75 centimeters long, including the tail. The giant armadillo can reach a length of 150 cm. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, with the giant armadillo being a dark brown color and the pink fairy armadillo being a beautiful salmon color.
Pangolins can grow to be four feet long and weigh between 3.5 and 73 pounds. The largest living species of pangolin is the giant ground pangolin. Pangolins do not have teeth, but they ground their food with strong muscles and tiny pebbles in their stomach.
Habitat and Diet
Rain forests, grasslands, semi-deserts, and other forested areas are ideal habitats for Armadillos. Some of them live along rivers or streams in areas of wet soil. They are found in South America, Central America, and the United States’ southern states. Outside of Latin America, the nine-branded armadillos are likely the only armadillos. Ants, beetles, termites, and other insects are among the insects they consume.
Pangolins prefer sandy environments like desert woodlands, tropical forests, and savannah. They survive in close proximity to water. Pangolins can be found in Southern, Central, and Eastern Africa. The Indian Pangolin, Chinese Pangolin, Sunda Pangolin, and Palawan Pangolin are the four animals that can be found in Asia. Pangolins rely mainly on the diet of ants and termites.
Armadillos mate between June and September, in the late summer. The fertilized egg (zygote) in the uterus of the female is allowed to float freely in the uterus before being implanted. In most cases, the interval is three or four months, but in rare cases, a two-year period has been noted. Quadruplets are born as a fertilized egg splits into four separate zygotes.
Pangolins, on the other hand, are lonely creatures that are thought to only come together to mate. Mating takes place about once a year, normally in the summer or autumn. The males’ and females’ tails are entwined during copulation. Females give birth to only one live baby after a gestation period of about 140 days.
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