Specimens of a pair of large Indian Pangolins, the scaly anteater which has become a near threatened species, have made to the showcase of the exhibit of the fortnight at the Government Museum. It will be on display till February 23.
Explaining about the exhibits, a curator from the zoology section at the museum said the exhibits, one of which is as long as three feet from head to tail, has been carefully kept under preservation here for more than 80 years. “We have removed its organs and have cleaned the outer part of its body. It requires periodic chemical treatment especially during rainy season when there is fungus formation on the skin,” the curator said.
The thick-tailed pangolins which are found in tropical regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal feeds mainly on ants and termites.
The curator said pangolins have a unique sharp scaly body made of keratin which can curl up in to a ball when threatened with its overlapping scales acting as armour, while they hide their face under their tail.
“Male pangolins are usually longer in length between 3.5 feet to 4 feet while females are approximately three feet. They have a good memory gland. Their tongues are extremely long and sticky with which they stick out in to an anthill or termite mounds. They don’t have teeth,” the curator said.
These nocturnal animals are currently listed as near-threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The species is included in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, that protects them from trafficking and hunting while such offences shall be punishable with imprisonment, museum officials said.