By: Erin Ruberry
We're as happy as a pangolin in mud to wish you a very happy World Pangolin Day.
Not familiar with this scaly cutie? Allow us to introduce you.
A pangolin is a nocturnal mammal found in Africa and Asia. Sometimes called "scaly anteaters," pangolins mostly eat ants and termites, and are endangered at least in part because some cultures believe pangolins have magical powers:
"When mixed with bark from certain trees, the scales are thought to neutralize witchcraft and evil spirits. If buried near a man’s door, they are said to give an interested woman power over him. Sometimes the scales are burned to keep lions and other wild animals away. In some areas, pangolins are sacrificed for rainmaking ceremonies; in other areas, they are hunted for meat."
While some pangolins dig burrows several feet under the ground, we're pretty sure the little guy in the above video is just enjoying splashing in the mud as much we did as kids. Sometimes, there's no scientific reason behind what we do!
Want to see a pangolin in person? Visit San Diego Zoo to hang out with Baba the tree pangolin.
For something a little less cute and cuddly, check out the preserved pangolin presented to the team from Oddities: