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Armadillo vs. Pangolin: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 25, 2023
Armadillo is a New World mammal with a leathery armor shell; pangolin is a scaly anteater found in Africa and Asia.

Key Differences

The armadillo is a unique mammal known for its distinctive leathery armor that protects it from predators. In contrast, the pangolin is recognized for its large, protective keratin scales covering its skin.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
Native to the Americas, armadillos are predominantly found in regions spanning from the southern United States to South America. Pangolins, on the other hand, are indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, with eight different species spread across these continents.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
While both the armadillo and pangolin have protective coverings, their diets differ. Armadillos are omnivores that primarily consume insects, but they can also eat small vertebrates and plants. Pangolins are specialized in their diet, primarily eating ants and termites using their long, sticky tongues.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
Reproductively, the armadillo has a unique trait where certain species give birth to identical quadruplets. Pangolins, in contrast, typically give birth to a single offspring at a time, although some species can have twins.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023
Both armadillos and pangolins face threats from human activities. Armadillos often face risks from traffic and habitat loss, while pangolins are critically endangered due to poaching for their scales and meat, making them one of the most trafficked mammals globally.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Physical Feature

Leathery armor shell
Large, protective keratin scales
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Geographic Distribution

Americas (U.S. to South America)
Africa and Asia
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Diet

Omnivore (primarily insects)
Ants and termites
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Reproduction

Some species have identical quads
Usually one offspring, sometimes two
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Major Threats

Traffic, habitat loss
Poaching for scales and meat
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023
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Armadillo and Pangolin Definitions

Armadillo

Known for certain species giving birth to identical quadruplets.
The mother armadillo nurtured her four identical offspring.
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Pangolin

Native to parts of Africa and Asia.
Pangolins are often found in the forests of Southeast Asia.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Armadillo

Faces threats such as traffic and habitat destruction.
The construction project disrupted the armadillo's natural habitat.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Pangolin

Specialized diet of ants and termites.
Using its long tongue, the pangolin expertly extracted termites from the mound.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Armadillo

Native to the Americas, spanning from the U.S. to South America.
We spotted an armadillo during our trip to Texas.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Pangolin

A mammal covered in large, protective keratin scales.
The pangolin's scales are its primary defense against predators.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Armadillo

A mammal known for its leathery armor.
The armadillo curled into a ball when threatened.
Huma Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Pangolin

Critically endangered due to high levels of poaching.
Conservationists are working hard to protect the pangolin from extinction.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Armadillo

Primarily an insectivore but also consumes small vertebrates and plants.
The armadillo dug up the garden in search of insects.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023

Pangolin

One of the most trafficked mammals globally.
The illegal trade in pangolin scales has led to a decline in their population.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

Armadillo

Any of various omnivorous burrowing mammals of the family Dasypodidae, native to southern North America and Central and South America and characterized by an armorlike covering consisting of jointed bony plates.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Pangolin

Any of several long-tailed, scale-covered mammals of the order Pholidota of tropical Africa and Asia, having a long snout and a sticky tongue for catching and eating ants and termites. Also called scaly anteater.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Armadillo

Any of the burrowing mammals covered with bony, jointed, protective plates, order Cingulata, found in the Americas, especially in South America.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Pangolin

The scaly anteater; any of several long-tailed, scale-covered mammals of the order Pholidota of tropical Africa and Asia, the sole extant genus of which is Manis.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Armadillo

Any edentate animal if the family Dasypidæ, peculiar to America. The body and head are incased in an armor composed of small bony plates. The armadillos burrow in the earth, seldom going abroad except at night. When attacked, they curl up into a ball, presenting the armor on all sides. Their flesh is good food. There are several species, one of which (the peba) is found as far north as Texas. See Peba, Poyou, Tatouay.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Pangolin

Any one of several species of Manis, Pholidotus, and related genera, found in Africa and Asia. They are covered with imbricated scales, and feed upon ants. Called also scaly ant-eater.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Armadillo

Burrowing chiefly nocturnal mammal with body covered with strong horny plates
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

Pangolin

Toothless mammal of southern Africa and Asia having a body covered with horny scales and a long snout for feeding on ants and termites
Sumera Saeed
Nov 29, 2021

FAQs

What do armadillos primarily eat?

Armadillos primarily consume insects but can also eat small vertebrates and plants.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

What covers the body of a pangolin?

Pangolins are covered in large, protective keratin scales.
Huma Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Where are armadillos native to?

Armadillos are native to the Americas, from the southern U.S. to South America.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

In which continents can you find pangolins?

Pangolins are native to parts of Africa and Asia.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

What is the main diet of pangolins?

Pangolins primarily eat ants and termites.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

How many species of pangolins are there?

There are eight recognized species of pangolins.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023

How many offspring do pangolins typically have?

Pangolins typically give birth to one offspring at a time, though some species can have twins.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Are both armadillos and pangolins nocturnal?

Yes, both armadillos and pangolins are primarily nocturnal creatures.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Is it legal to trade pangolin products?

The international trade of pangolin products is banned, but illegal trafficking persists.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

How many species of armadillos exist?

There are about 21 recognized species of armadillos.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

How do armadillos defend themselves from threats?

Armadillos can curl into a ball, using their armor as a shield.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023

Do armadillos have a unique reproductive trait?

Yes, certain armadillo species give birth to identical quadruplets.
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Are pangolins related to anteaters?

While they share similar diets and long tongues, pangolins are not closely related to anteaters.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

How do pangolins defend themselves?

Pangolins can roll into a tight ball, using their scales as a shield against predators.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

What is the primary protective feature of an armadillo?

The armadillo has a distinctive leathery armor shell.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Are pangolins endangered?

Yes, pangolins are critically endangered due to poaching for their scales and meat.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Can armadillos swim?

Yes, armadillos are good swimmers and can hold their breath for several minutes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Are pangolins aggressive creatures?

No, pangolins are generally shy and solitary animals.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Do armadillos carry diseases?

Some armadillos, especially in the southern U.S., have been known to carry leprosy.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

Why are pangolins trafficked?

Pangolins are trafficked for their scales, which are believed to have medicinal properties in some cultures, and for their meat.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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