A Scaled Mammal
“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;”
Its long, slender, scale-covered body glides along the ground on four short legs, each of which has sharp claws. Its slender head has no teeth. It will not seek to hurt you, but if it feels threatened it will lash out with that scale-armored tail.
While this creature sounds very much like a reptile, it is, in fact, a mammal called the pangolin. There are seven species of pangolins scattered through Africa and Asia. Typically, the female pangolin will give birth to a single young one after a 140-day gestation period. When full grown, the young one, like its parents, will be almost two feet long and weigh about 20 pounds. In addition to using its tail for defense, it can also spray a bad-smelling liquid like a skunk. If all else fails, it can roll into a tight armored ball. Its feeding behavior is similar to a nocturnal anteater. The pangolin’s highly developed sense of smell can actually sniff out ant and termite mounds. When it finds a nest, it uses its long, sticky tongue to collect a meal. Unfortunately, the endangered pangolin is prized as a delicacy as well as a medicine among the hill tribes where it lives. Lions and tigers also feed on pangolins.
Pangolins are another example of God’s unlimited creativity and His power and wisdom which allows Him to bring about whatever He desires. His greatest desire is for our salvation through the innocent suffering of Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, I stand in wonder at Your creation and the variety You have made. Amen.
“Pangolin,” World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia (2001).