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 Post subject: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 1:58 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
I know it's not a herp, but I'm presenting it here anyway, because (a) it's a squamate sensu lato, and (b) few of us have ever seen one, and until last night around 2030 hours, that included me.

I was lying in bed, reading Thomas E. Ricks' "Fiasco - The American Military Adventure in Iraq", when the phone rang downstairs in the living room. I heard one of the kids pick up, and half a minute later both boys erupted into joyous ululations, yelling up the stairs "DAAAAD! GET DRESSED AND COME DOWN, QUICK! THE NEIGHBORS CAUGHT A PANGOLIN AND WANT TO GIVE IT TO US!!"

It took me a while to extricate my brain from the sticky cobwebs in which all those complex politics and military operations in the Middle East had thoroughly shrouded it, and tried to recalibrate it for use on the matter at hand. A pangolin? Shyeeeaahh. Right. Spitting cobras fly out of my ass, and Martian storm troopers are bivouacking in my ghetto blaster. I was convinced I had misheard, and reckoned the neighbors were actually bringing over pomelos or home-made dumplings, as they often do, or maybe a present for Hans' twelfth birthday today. But the inquiry I yelled back down the stairs while trying to pull on my britches without tripping over them still brought back the same message: the neighbors had found a pangolin, and did we want it, us being known snake catchers and all?

Wow. TRIPLE wow! You see, as crazy as I am about snakes, I'll gladly trade three of my cobras for one of your pangolins any day of the week. I have night-herped Taiwan's mountains extensively for two years and never ever seen a pangolin, not even a single scale. I managed to put on my shoes without strangling myself with the laces, and then my entire family accompanied me across the street to the neighbor's yard. There on the ground stood a blue wire cage for dogs, containing not a poodle, but one of the oddest creatures I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on.

As a long-time resident of Taiwan, I actually knew quite a bit about Chinese pangolins and had seen countless pictures, but never the animal itself. Until 1990, when Manis p. pentadactyla was put under strict protection, the natives used to catch these animals to use their scales in Chinese medicine and their meat in Chinese cuisine. All pangolin species are reportedly very tasty; and the African pangolins are very popular bushmeat. The "Armor that Burrows Through The Mountain" (穿山甲), as the Chinese call the animal, still falls prey to poachers here in Taiwan, but nowadays Taiwanese pangolins don't end up in local woks anymore, but are instead smuggled to Mainland China where they command top dollar.

Chinese pangolins spend their nights prowling lowland forests for ants and termites, and their days sleeping in self-dug underground burrows. Legend has it that they roll around in ant nests, trapping the insects under their movable armor scales. They then find a creek or pond, submerge and relax their scales. This forces the ants to the surface where the pangolin's tongue laps them up. Wikipedia has more:

Pangolins have large keratin scales covering their skin and are the only mammals with this adaptation. They are found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. The name "pangolin" derives from the Malay word pengguling ("something that rolls up"). Pangolins lack teeth and the ability to chew. Instead, they tear open anthills or termite mounds with their powerful front claws and probe deep into them with their very long tongues. Pangolins have glands in their chests to lubricate the tongue with sticky, ant-catching saliva.

In case you're wondering where they put all that tongue - it retracts right down into the abdominal cavity, at or near the pelvis (no uncouth jokes, please.) Thanks to an anal gland similar to the model found in skunks, pangolins can give off a monstrously hideous stink, but this little guy, a rather young individual, just smelled of earth and dirt. Picking him up did not always cause him to roll up into a ball, whereas touching his surprisingly soft and hairy belly and palms did so without fail.

The main reason for my intense excitement at finally coming face to face with one of these "Old World Armadillos" (to which they're actually not at all related) is not so much their rarity or their weirdly cute appearance, but their ancientness. This is a living fossil, an animal that has not changed one iota for at least 56 million years. Compounding the awesome sensation of observing a genetic witness to prehistory is the fact that all these deliciously freaky features - the scales, the tongue, the toothless mouth, the über-specialized lifestyle - have actually survived those endless eons without a single major mutation, while the rest of the planet's fauna evolved into the furry hunters and grazers we commonly associate with the term "mammal".

Apart from all that, pangolins are also bona fide archetypes of antediluvian adorability, i. e. terribly cute. The next morning we took the ant fiend out of the dog cage and brought it to a spacious private garden featuring a lawn and large decorative rocks which I planned to use for backgrounds. The pangolin is such a docile creature that we didn't even bother with caging or bagging it for the short ride - the boys just held it on their laps, where it snored contentedly, snot dripping out of its little pink nose. At the garden I discovered that this docility does not readily translate into willingness to be photographed. As soon as we had placed the still bunched-up critter on the ground, it tentatively started to sniff and look around, and once we had stepped back about five feet, it unwrapped itself and took off across the lawn at quite an impressive clip. Photographing the creature in its rolled-out state seemed impossible, and the strategy of placing it on top of a large rock in the hope that it would not dare to jump off failed miserably: trusting his scales to dampen the impact, it ran straight for the edge, hurled itself off the precipice and hit the (fortunately muddy) ground tumbling, stumbling, and finally running. In the end, we discovered a large, artsy birdbath into which we lowered the animal. In the tub it immediately started to look for an exit, which afforded me a few shots of its active state, if only from above.

In the afternoon, we showed the primordial beast to Hans' birthday guests. Ten awe-hushed sixth-graders standing in a circle around the animal created second thoughts about escape. However, the pangolin didn't seem to want to curl up and sulk either; it only seems to do that if someone approaches within touching distance. So it just swung its neckless head here and there, walked around at a slow gait (on his knuckles, btw - how freaky is that?), and I finally got a few proper shots of it in motion.

Tonight we'll release the little pineapple pinscher at a remote place in the mountains. I could have sold it for the equivalent of 500 US$ to a poacher in our village, but my wife vehemently opposed the idea. She claims the pangolin's blue eyes and hind paws look almost human. Women....sheesh. (wait for it...someone's gonna fall for this....wait for it...)

Footnote: Further and very detailed reading on the status and natural history of Manis pentadactyla can be found here...

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Last edited by Hans Breuer (twoton) on November 14th, 2010, 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 2:45 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:06 am
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:o God damn those are cool animals. We found a burrow in India, and one was rescued in Bangalore(!) a day after we left - would love to atually see one.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 3:03 am 
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I sent my address in a PM. Ship me a pair via UPS! :)

DAN


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 6:15 am 
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Since I was a young boy studying animal cards and anything I could get my hands on, this has been on my top 5 coolest anythings on earth list. Outstanding find and I definitely appreciate seeing it here. Thanks for really making my day, this would have been an Epic find for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:10 am 
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That thing is awesome! Great find!

Josh


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:54 am 
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Sweet find, thanks for sharing the story! When I first saw the thread title I thought "This has got to be a Hans thread!"


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 8:08 am 
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Very cool! Cute for a mammal too!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 8:20 am 
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Great job with the photos Hans. Really enjoyed the writing too. Guess I somehow never saw a really good pic of one of those....they look unreal. Odd the the whole animal is so protected but its snount is so fleshy ...it must work though considering the creatures success.

This pics is cray cool...
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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 8:36 am 
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Thanks for sharing that, Hans! Pangolins and Armadillos have always been two of my favorite mammals I guess due to their reptilian appearance. Did you happen to notice if there are any mites or ticks that lurk beneath their scales? I know armadillos are notorious for carrying alot of parasites, but I know next to nothing about these armored anteaters.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 9:48 am 
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Awesome pics Hans.... very cute little critter.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 10:04 am 
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Adorable little guy. Must have been exciting!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 11:58 am 
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Oh my god that is way too effing cute!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 12:19 pm 
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:shock: Pretty darn cool. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 12:21 pm 
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Really interesting post, and what a special animal to get to hold and take photos of.
Very reptilian like isn't it? Thanks for the post Hans.

-Dell


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 12:23 pm 
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Now THAT'S cool!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 2:15 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:20 am
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Hans, Great photos of a rarely seen mammal. I worked with 2 different ones that were smuggled into the US from West Africa. They were difficult to get to feed and eventually died. The scales are used in traditional Asian medicine and has put them on the CITES list. You are very fortunate to see this little guy. Thanks for sharing!!!! :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 4:28 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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Location: Hesperia, California.
that IS Way Cool, Hans. You're allowed to keep it? Back in the day, when I worked for Jetts Petting Zoo (the largest in the U.S.) we had a giant anteater I took care of... what a Character that guy was... you could open his pen at the end of the day and he'd go shuffeling all the way through a mall, up the ramp of the animal truck, and into his enclosure. Surprizing smart and mellow... :D but be warned... outside of Emu's, no fecal matter on this planet smells as bad as an Anteaters.
How do you plan on keeping him fed? ZooMed makes Anteater chow... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 6:53 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks very much, guys!

Yeah, that was truly the highlight of my year - even topped the five cobras and the mating six-foot Taiwan Beauties I found in 2010. Sadly, we had to let the little guy go. He was dripping profusely from the nose, his eyes were watery, and since I can't imagine any vet here knowing anything about these walking pine cones, we released him last night in the hope that he'll dig himself a nice burrow and sleep through his cold before it gets worse. I originally wanted to keep it for another day to give Mr. Onionsack a chance to come over and meet it, but in the end we decided it was too risky to leave it in that draughty cage for another night.

Also, they're a P in the A to keep. Apart from being illegal - where do I get a steady supply of ant nests? Where do I put a cage with enough space for two meters of soil for the pangolin to dig in? How do I protect it from poachers? (at those prices, that's a real problem).

I didn't see any parasites, but didn't really look for them either. He was probably full of them, what with so many scales to hide under :-)

Quote:
Odd the the whole animal is so protected but its snout is so fleshy

Look at the second and third pic. The snout is well protected under the broad, armored tail which is almost impossible to unfold. Despite its small size, it's a daunting task even for a large ex-weightlifter like me to uncurl the pangolin from its defensive pose, or unhook its claws from anything it holds on to. In comparison to human anatomy, I'd reckon the creature's muscles are at least 20 times stronger than ours. There's real protection there.

Quote:
When I first saw the thread title I thought "This has got to be a Hans thread!"

Thank you....I think :-)


Last edited by Hans Breuer (twoton) on November 14th, 2010, 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:05 pm 
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hellihooks wrote:
that IS Way Cool, Hans. You're allowed to keep it? Back in the day, when I worked for Jetts Petting Zoo (the largest in the U.S.) we had a giant anteater I took care of... what a Character that guy was... you could open his pen at the end of the day and he'd go shuffeling all the way through a mall, up the ramp of the animal truck, and into his enclosure. Surprizing smart and mellow... :D but be warned... outside of Emu's, no fecal matter on this planet smells as bad as an Anteaters.
How do you plan on keeping him fed? ZooMed makes Anteater chow... :thumb: jim

My gosh, Jim, did you read at all the postings above yours? or do you really think that anything that you find is your right to keep?


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:11 pm 
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Hans: I found this online if you're interested. You have to subscribe to the site to open up the pdf. Apparently pangolins appear to be suseptible to respiratory infections. I am glad you did the right thing and let it go, though.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 4/abstract


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:14 pm 
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Excellent post. I've spent a lot of time in the habitat of various Pangolin species, and have yet to see one. Congratulations.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:25 pm 
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Thanks again, and thanks for the link, klawnskale! That's really interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 7:31 pm 
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Hmm....I registered, but it seems I need to buy it for US$29.95. Is there a free version online somewhere? I'd really love to read that.

PM me, please! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 1:09 am 
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Here's a very interesting article Mr Onionsack found: http://www.ecologyasia.com/news-archive ... 0507_1.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 7:56 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
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dude. You're so lucky!! Thsoe are on my short list of really want to see mammals (echidna and giant anteaters make up the rest of it).

They're just so....strange


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 8:10 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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Location: Hesperia, California.
klawnskale wrote:
[
My gosh, Jim, did you read at all the postings above yours? or do you really think that anything that you find is your right to keep?

According to CITES: Manis spp. (A zero annual export quota has been established for Manis crassicaudata, M. culionensis, M. javanica and M. pentadactyla for specimens removed from the wild and traded for primarily commercial purposes)
That has nothing to do with whether or not they're legal to keep in Taiwan... I was asking a question, since Hans never said what he had planned for it, so your comment was uncalled for, and rather inflammatory. Speaking of 'right to keep'... may I remind you that you have the right to keep your abrasive and confrontational remarks to yourself... but then again, I guess that's what you're renowned for... :roll: I won't further derail Han's cool post by replying to you.... if you have any other personal attacks for me... take them to PM's.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 9:06 am 
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Durrellian!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 9:25 am 
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Coolest non-herp post on the FHF ever! :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 9:45 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
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Warren wrote:
Durrellian!


As a young boy, Durrell's The Overloaded Arc and A Zoo in My Luggage were some of my favorite books, along with Hallet's Congo, Pygmy, and Animal Kitabu series... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 1:15 pm 
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Always appreciative of a FHF mammal post, this thread has made my week. It’s a privilege to see so many photos of such an interesting mammal.

At the risk of putting a downer on the post, the link below highlights the true extent of the illegal trade in this endangered creature. (Warning: It makes depressing reading!)

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/pa ... ching.html


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 2:52 pm 
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GREAT post Hans...both your excellent narrative and the photos. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 3:05 pm 
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Hans: the article I linked to states that the Taipei Zoo Will rehab pangolins found by people that are sick or injured. They have a pretty good success rate. So next time you find one that requires medical attention, you can take it there.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 15th, 2010, 4:21 pm 
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Warren wrote:
Durrellian!


Orwellian!

Turtullian?


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 12:40 pm 

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Awesome find Hans! Truly a unqiue species evolutionary wise. Reminds me of a pokemon sandshrew/sandslash


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 7:33 pm 
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Thanks very much, guysngals!


Whats "Turtullian"?


Thanks for the pangolin trade link, Mr. Richardson. This sort information can't get enough exposure!


klawnskale, I have good contacts to the Taipei Zoo Wildlife Rescue Center and know about their pangolin situation. I also knew they take good care of them. However, the zoo is on the other side of town, a good ninety minute drive, and I didn't have time for the trip on Monday. Which would have required to keep the animal another two nights overground in a drafty dog cage, and that would definitely have led to its swift demise. That's why I decided to repatriate the beast and give Ma Nature and her Box of Awesome Healing Powers a chance.

Quote:
As a young boy, Durrell's The Overloaded Arc and A Zoo in My Luggage were some of my favorite books,

Warren's "Durrellian" remark has triggered a wonderful rediscovery of one of my childhood heroes. When I was eight or nine, I started to read every single book by Gerald Durrell available in German at the time (early Seventies), and finished the collection within the year. Then I re-read them all, twice. Hardly any author has infused my childhood with more pleasure than Gerald Durrell. As a teenager, I gradually gave up on my plans to become an animal catcher, as I discovered blues guitar, girls, and smokeable, rather than readable manners of relaxation. Apart from the occasional news bits about his Jersey Zoo, I had pretty much forgotten about Durrell until Warren mentioned him. I immediately checked Durrell's complete works and found out that in complete obliviousness of my teenage needs (the bastard!) he had gone on to pen twenty-odd more books on animals and his weird family, all of which I now have the immense pleasure to discover. I've ordered a bunch already, and I'm really looking forward to the long winter nights with them.

This will also be the first time that I read them in their original language, which will hopefully provide fresh ideas for my own writing. I've so far finished about 40.000 words of "The Cobra That Hijacked My Camera Bag", and after the initial, highly inspired writing blitz during which I churned out two huge parts in just a couple of weeks, I'm now stuck on the chapter "Ratsnakes - The Fast and the Furious". It's not that I lack material - hell, there's plenty of that - but I seem to have chewed my funny bone to shreds. Over the last two weeks, my style has gotten more stilted, magniloquent (see??), art-for-art's-sake-y, yet plain boring by the day. Let's hope old Gerry's magic will help me out of the slump.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 8:30 pm 

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One of my favorite Mammals. Awesome find!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 8:34 pm 

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Hans...1st of all, you write VERY Well, and from what I've seen of it, it has it's own unique extemporanous charm. I write mostly philosophy, but wish I could make a living as a poet... :roll:
Durrells work was like a bible to me as well, as a boy, which I re-read over and over, (along with memorizing everthing that was known {at that time} about dinosaurs) IF you haven't read Hallett's Kitabo series... you MUST! Incredible Man... had his arm blown off dynamiting fish for a starving village...in the water surrounded by hungry crocs...then drove 6 hrs down the most treacherous mountain rd in Africa, to make it across a drawbridge before it closed for the night. Another time, now with a stump for an arm, jumped on the back of a 120 lb male lepoard, that had attacked one of his porters, and after an extended fight, killed the cat with a bowie knife another porter had tossed towards him, before fleeing. His fights for pygmys and other indiginous african people's rights is quite compelling, along with his anthropological insights... some of which I still quote today.
Anyway... good on ya for the prompt release, and again, awesome post man... brought back alotta cool memories of taking care of ole 'Charlie'...the SA Giant Anteater I took care of for six years... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 9:18 pm 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Let's hope old Gerry's magic will help me out of the slump.
It will. The only problem is your family will have a hard time understanding you when you speak with a British accent for two weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 16th, 2010, 9:28 pm 
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Warren wrote:
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Let's hope old Gerry's magic will help me out of the slump.
It will. The only problem is your family will have a hard time understanding you when you speak with a British accent for two weeks.

Won't happen. I only speak Chinese with them. The only time I speak English is during my daily half-hour lessons with Hans (in preparation of our move to Sarawak).

hellihooks, thanks for the tip! A plea this passionate is not to be ignored :-) Which one of Hallett's books should I start with?


Last edited by Hans Breuer (twoton) on November 17th, 2010, 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 10:45 am 
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Location: Colima, México
Awesome!!! That thing almost BEATS a herp. Definitely beats a Rat Snake ;)

Don Cascabel


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 8:25 pm 
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thunderation!

how are you gonna top this one? :crazyeyes:

-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 8:54 pm 
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I'm thinking 'what the hell is he going on about??????' in the first couple of sentences I'm then thinking 'armored anteaters'... The rest is one of the most interesting posts I've seen. The photos are priceless(to use a lame clichè). The title actually did give me a clue.

Again... fantastic post... I want one.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 12:57 am 
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Herp or not, this is definitely one the coolest animals to be posted on FHF ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 1:20 am 
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Thank you all for your continued support :-)

Mike Pingleton wrote:
thunderation!

how are you gonna top this one? :crazyeyes:


By moving to Borneo next July. You'll see. Spitting cobras. Python-wrestling tarsiers. Flying <insert any herp but turtle>s. And different pangolins!

Quote:
The title actually did give me a clue

As it should have, what with the name of the animal being the first word :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

S. M. Artass


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 7:02 am 
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You'll have to move to Japan to see flying turtles...

Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:

By moving to Borneo next July. You'll see. Spitting cobras. Python-wrestling tarsiers. Flying <insert any herp but turtle>s. And different pangolins!



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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 7:06 am 
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Cool post - a perfect bit of 'near-herp' variety.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 6:34 pm 
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Mike Pingleton wrote:
You'll have to move to Japan to see flying turtles...

Gameraaaaaa!


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 20th, 2010, 6:24 am 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
... I have good contacts to the Taipei Zoo Wildlife Rescue Center and know about their pangolin situation. I also knew they take good care of them. However, the zoo is on the other side of town, a good ninety minute drive, and I didn't have time for the trip on Monday. Which would have required to keep the animal another two nights overground in a drafty dog cage, and that would definitely have led to its swift demise. That's why I decided to repatriate the beast and give Ma Nature and her Box of Awesome Healing Powers a chance.

This has been an interesting thread on a very interesting animal, Hans, and I appreciate your sharing it with us.

Knowing something about how bad off Taiwan's pangolins are (which is nearly all I do know about them), though, I have to say that I would have appreciated much more hearing about your getting that animal to a facility where you thought it could be provided with proper care promptly after you realized that it was likely sick. Even if it meant you had less show-and-tell to provide us. Even if you had to drive three hours out of your way. (I suppose calling someone from the Taipei Zoo Wildlife Rescue Center to pick up the animal wasn't an option - too bad.) As I'm sure you know better than I do, pangolins really need some heroics performed on their behalf...

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 20th, 2010, 7:20 pm 
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Hi Gerry,

in hindsight, I probably should have been more heroic. But how? Having the zoo come over and get the animal was not an option. They don't do outpatient pickups. The Rescue Center is closed on the weekends. And my wife and me both had a very hectic schedule on Monday into which we couldn't squeeze a half-day round trip to the zoo. Maybe I should have engaged the fire brigade, as they're in charge of rescuing animals, but this thought didn't come to me until I read your post. Believe me, I would have brought it over if I had had the chance. It might be of some consolation, though, that we released the beast in an area where we had found two pangolin burrows last year. At least it won't be alone.

Quote:
Knowing something about how bad off Taiwan's pangolins are

Do you have number sources? That would be interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Pangolin - "The Armor That Burrows Through The Mountain"
PostPosted: November 20th, 2010, 8:21 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:17 am
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Quote:
By moving to Borneo next July. You'll see. Spitting cobras. Python-wrestling tarsiers. Flying <insert any herp but turtle>s. And different pangolins!


Thats it :shock: ?! what about sun bears, clouded leopards, porcupines, ah forget it.... bring me along :P


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