“Pangolins: The Armored Ambassadors” was the theme at yesterday’s GTM Research Reserve lecture, in collaboration with Marineland Dolphin Adventure. GTM Education Coordinator Kenneth Rainer spoke about this unique small arboreal, nocturnal mammal. Rainer introduced “Scar,” a white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), to the audience. To view the lecture, click here.

There are eight species of pangolins distributed between Asia and Africa. This mammal is most closely related to carnivores (think cats and dogs). Pangolins have protective scales made from keratin, the same material that creates your hair and fingernails. They cover the pangolin from the head to the tip of the tail, but are not found on the belly. Their diet consists almost entirely of ants and termites.

This lecture series is part of an ongoing, monthly program designed to help inform the public about the coastal environment. To register for next month’s lecture on North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), click here.