Jen Guyton, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, discovered one of the most elusive animals in sub-Saharan Africa -- a ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii). She saw one adult female and her baby in Mozambique and compared the adult to a giant pinecone. “It wiggled and unfurled its roly-poly body just enough to reveal an eye like sticky caviar, its tongue whizzing in and out and reinforcing the illusion that this scaly orb was a dragon come to life,” she wrote on her friend’s blog The Smaller Majority, run by Piotr Naskrecki, the Harvard entomologist who discovered the world’s largest spider.
Bipedal and armed with massive claws, ground pangolins are easily confused with a carnivorous Jurassic raptor and are often called scaly anteaters but they aren’t closely related.
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