Scales of pangolins provide flexibility yet strong protection by overlapping like roof shingles.


"Without teeth and without any turn of speed, the pangolin has to be well protected. It has an armour of horny scales that overlap like shingles on a roof. At the slightest danger the animal tucks its head into its stomach and wraps itself into a ball with its muscular tail clasped tight around it. In my experience, there is no way in which a pangolin, once rolled, can be forced to unwind." (Attenborough 1979:228)

Life on Earth: A Natural HistoryJanuary 10, 1981
David Attenborough

Ground PangolinManisSpecies