Pangolin vs Armadillo Best 10 Main Differences Explained

Pangolin vs Armadillo

The pangolins belong to the family Manidae, the one extant family of which has three genera. The Dasypodidae and Chlamyphoridae are the only surviving families in the superorder Xenarthra. Pangolin, Sunda pangolin, Indian pangolin, Chinese pangolin, Palawan pangolin, giant pangolin, etc. Of the eight species, two are listed as critically endangered, while four are listed as vulnerable. The giant ground pangolin is the largest of the eight pangolin species.

 Pangolins represent one of the most trafficked mammals in the world. Pangolins are present in tropical forests, tropical Africa and subtropical Africa, and southern Africa, the sole extant genus is Manis. The pangolin is an African and Asian mammal that possesses sharp claws and a long and sticky tongue. The pangolin’s tongue is attached to the last pair of ribs and near its pelvis. These animals have a body covered with horny overlapping scales and semi-prehensile tails to climb trees.

At the same time, the black-bellied pangolin species are rich ochre-colored. The pangolin eats larvae, ants and termites; hence is called the scaly anteater. These scaly anteaters are also called nocturnal mammals. If they are threatened, the pangolins emit noxious chemicals from their evolved glands near anus.

 In contrast, the armadillos are the new world placental mammals. The armadillos belong to the superorder Xenarthra. There are several species of armadillo; the nine-banded armadillo is one of them. Armadillos live in warm and temperate habitats, such as semi-deserts, grasslands, sandy soil, and rainforests.

They are the only known mammals in Southeast Asia, central and south America. The giant armadillo grows to about 59 inches in length, while the pink fairy armadillo grows to about 5 to 6 inches. These species of scale-covered mammals, i.e. armadillo armadillos, look similar to the scaly anteater. These are the burrowing mammals covered with bony plates.

Pangolin vs Armadillo 

The armadillo also has a sticky tongue, epidermal scales, and a tapering tail. This nocturnal insectivorous mammal possesses an elongated snout that helps them catch ants and termites. The protective shell of the armadillo is called the carapace. Compared to all these facts, both pangolins and armadillos don’t share a similar lineage. Although there are many similarities between these two mammals, there are also some differences that discriminate against them. The pangolin pangolins look similar to armadillos, but they are not found in the New World Placental mammals list. The armadillos are more giant than pangolins, with short limbs and long tails.



  • The pangolin possesses a thick prehensile tail, a long snout, and short legs. The head is cone-shaped and small-sized, while the ears are small. In addition to this, they look like reptiles covered in horny scales. These overlapping scales provide protectionprotect to most of the body parts of these animals. They vary in color from dark brown to olive, or light to yellowish- brown. 
  • The armadillos are closely related to sloths and anteaters. These animal species possess small eyes and a shovel-shaped or pointy snout. There are distinct color variations such as gray, red, black, or yellow. In addition to it, their shells are made up of 7 to 9 bony rings, covering their bodies between their hips and shoulders. While the heads are relatively narrow and small.  and 
  • The pangolins are present in various countries worldwide, including China, Bhutan, Taiwan, Myanmar, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. Furthermore, these animal species are native to different habitats, such as savannah grasslands, woodlands, thick brush cultivated and cleared areas, caves, and hollow trees, flooded and tropical forests.
  • According to the Animal Diversity Web at the University of Michigan, the armadillos live in different countries, such as South and Central America, Indonesia, Brazil, India, and other tropical countries. Instead of all it, these animals are native to various other habitats, including semi-deserts, rainforests, grasslands, warm and temperate habitats. 
  • The pangolin varies in size from about a house cat size to 4 feet long. The mature male pangolins are almost 40% more large-sized than females. The average body length of the pangolin is between 45 inches and 4.5 feet, and the adult can reach about 34 centimeters in length. In addition to it, the average weight is approximately between 3.5 and a maximum of about 73 pounds. 
  • The armadillos are yellow-brown to brown-colored, having a few hairs on their bellies. They are called proficient diggers due to their long claws. Furthermore, the smaller female armadillo weighs between 8 and 13 pounds, and the more enormous male armadillo has an average of between approximately 12 and 7 pounds or 5.44 and 7.7 kilograms. 
  • The pangolin requires a proper diet to survive on the earth’s surface. They are insectivores, meaning their food primarily consists of various insect species, such as ants and termites. In addition to it, their sticky tongues help catch insects; hence they are known as scaly anteaters. 
  • The armadillos also require proper food to survive, like all other plants and animals on earth. For example, these animal species feed on plants, some fruits, small vertebrates, and occasional carrion meal. These omnivores can eat both plants and meat, though most diet contains larvae and insects. 
  • The pangolins create very few sounds and their scales can be quickly heard rubbing against the vegetation and one another. The male pangolin creates a soft hoofing noise. However, these animal species use different sounds, such as snorts, grunts, and hisses, to communicate with each other. They also communicate via scents, using urine to show their presence. 
  • The armadillos are nearly deaf and blind, relying on the sense of smell to check on their environment. However, these animal species communicate with each other through smell and sound. There are unique glands within skin pouches located on different areas of their bodies that they use to release secretions. These secretions also help identify other individuals. 
  • The pangolins are solitary animals being more active at night than during the day. Most of these species spend their time on the ground, but black-bellied pangolins also climb trees. They mostly hunt during the night. 
  • The armadillos are generally solitary animals, especially when these species are foraging and hunting, but will typically come together, getting socialized. These social creatures spend most of their time sleeping. 
  • The pangolins are dioecious animals, meaning female sex organs are only present in females, and male sex organs are found only in males. It requires both females and males for reproduction. In addition to it, these creatures also show sexual dimorphism. 
  • The reproduction of an armadillo begins during the early summer. The breeding period lasts about two to three months. Furthermore, the females do not lay eggs but give birth to live babies known as pups, after a gestation period between three to five months or up to nine months. 
  • The pangolins live for a specific time, after which they die. For instance, they possess an average lifespan of more than twenty years in captivity. However, how long they live in the wild is still unknown. 
  • The armadillos also live for a specific time, like other species, after which they die. In comparison to it, they live for 12 to 15 years in the wild and for more than twenty-three years in captivity. 
  • The pangolins are protected by their horny scales that help them protect from few predators. They are killed by other animals, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and other large cats. 
  • The armadillos are preyed on by several predators. For example, their main predators are raccoons, bears, cougars, bobcats, wolves, coyotes, and large raptors. 
  • The pangolin species are not extinct, but all eight species are protected under International and National laws. The two of these species are listed as critically endangered. 
  • According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the armadillo is not considered endangered. However, some species of armadillos are vulnerable. 


Sometimes people get confused and raise questions about pangolin vs armadillo to clear their minds. Therefore, the answers to some of those submitted questions are as mentioned below;

What are pangolins’ closest relatives?

Although some scientists think that pangolins show a close resemblance to other species of ant-eating animals, such as armadillos and anteaters, we are confirmed that the close relatives of these creatures are carnivores. 

Can you eat armadillos?

The armadillo meat is used as a vital part of people’s average diet in many Central and South American countries. The armadillo meat is considered a traditional ingredient in Mexico and Oaxaca, despite all these facts.

Can armadillo climb trees?

Although the armadillo possesses short legs, they can move much faster in dangerous conditions. Their outer shells help them run fast in dense forests. Furthermore, they can quickly climb over trees and fences that are not too high. 


Various plants and animals are present throughout the world, all possessing unique identification characters discriminating against them. The same is the case with pangolin vs armadillo. Although both species are similar, there also exist some differences. But people still confuse these animals. There is no need to worry because this blog post provides exciting facts and information about these creatures to make people’s minds clear. It will help greatly if you read this article with great care and pay full attention. 

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