To protect themselves from insect attack when eating, pangolins have special muscles which they can use to close their nostrils and ears. They also have thick eyelids to guard against biting insects.
The word 'pangolin' comes from the Malay word for rolling up; 'pennggulung' after the way that pangolins roll into a ball to protect themselves. There are eight species of pangolin, four African and four Asian. Some of these species are ground pangolins and some tree (aboreal) pangolins.
Despite their appearance they are not closely related to anteaters or armadillos but they do eat ants!
Pangolins have become the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world. Illegally taken for their meat and scales which some believe have medicinal properties.
Made of keratin, the same protein as our hair and fingernails, a pangolin's scales have no medicinal value.