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Difference Between Armadillo and Pangolin

  • Post last modified:March 14, 2023
  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post category:Animals

Definition of Armadillo and Pangolin

Armadillo and Pangolin serve as a roadmap for writing a comprehensive article or presentation on the topic, allowing the writer to effectively present information on the physical characteristics, habitat, diet, behavior, and conservation status of both species.

Armadillo: A small to medium-sized mammal found in Central and South America, characterized by its bony armor-like shell.

Pangolin: A scaly anteater found in Africa and Asia, known for its unique armor of overlapping scales.

Difference Between Armadillo and Pangolin

Physical Characteristics


  • Size and weight: Armadillos range in size from a small six-banded armadillo that weighs less than 1 kg to the giant armadillo that can weigh up to 66 kg.
  • Shell: Armadillos are known for their distinctive shell which covers the back, sides, and legs, providing protection against predators and the environment.
  • Limbs: Armadillos have short legs with strong claws for digging and burrowing.


  • Size and weight: Pangolins vary in size, with the smallest species weighing around 1 kg and the largest species weighing up to 33 kg.
  • Scales: Pangolins are covered in tough, overlapping scales made of keratin, which protect them from predators and serve as a barrier against ant bites.
  • Tail: Pangolins have a long, prehensile tail that they use for balance and to wrap around their body for added protection.

Habitat and Distribution


  • Range: Armadillos are found in Central and South America, ranging from southern United States to the tip of South America.
  • Habitat: Armadillos inhabit a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, grasslands, and wetlands.


  • Range: Pangolins are found in Africa and Asia, ranging from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
  • Habitat: Pangolins inhabit a variety of habitats, including forests, savannas, and grasslands. They prefer areas with loose soil for burrowing.



  • Food preferences: Armadillos are primarily insectivores and feed on ants, termites, beetles, and other insects.
  • Foraging behavior: Armadillos use their strong claws and snout to dig into the ground and uncover nests of insects, which they then feed on.


  • Food preferences: Pangolins are insectivores and feed primarily on ants and termites.
  • Foraging behavior: Pangolins use their long, sticky tongue to extract insects from underground nests and termite mounds. They use their powerful front claws to dig into the ground and uncover their food.

Behavior and Adaptations


  • Burrowing: Armadillos are known for their burrowing behavior and have the ability to dig complex underground systems of tunnels.
  • Self-defense: When threatened, armadillos can roll up into a tight ball, using their shell to protect themselves from predators.


  • Self-defense: Pangolins have a number of adaptations for self-defense, including the ability to roll up into a tight ball and use their scales as armor.
  • Adaptations for digging and climbing: Pangolins have sharp claws for digging and a prehensile tail for balance and stability, making them well-adapted for life in their underground habitats.

Both armadillos and pangolins are nocturnal animals, active at night and spending the day in burrows or tree hollows.

Conservation Status


  • Status: Armadillos are not considered endangered as a group, although some species, such as the giant armadillo, are facing declining populations due to habitat loss and hunting for their meat and shells.


  • Status: Pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world, with all eight species facing declining populations due to illegal hunting and trade for their meat and scales.
  • Conservation efforts: There are international and national efforts underway to protect pangolins and their habitats, including trade restrictions, increased enforcement, and habitat restoration initiatives.


Armadillos and pangolins are both unique and fascinating animals with distinct physical characteristics, habitats, diets, behaviors, and conservation statuses. While armadillos are not currently facing significant threats, pangolins are facing a significant decline in population due to illegal hunting and trade. It is important for us to understand the differences between these species and to work towards conservation efforts to protect pangolins and their habitats for future generations.

References website

Here are a few credible websites for reference material on armadillos and pangolins:

These resources provide detailed information on the biology, ecology, and conservation of armadillos and pangolins, as well as information on current conservation efforts and ways to support pangolin conservation.

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