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Pangaloon

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Pangaloon

The pangaloon has a long sticky tongue (a) which it extends into ant burrows. The dense scaly armour of the pangaloon is not a protection against ants but guards against attacks by predatory reptiles that live on the tropical forest floor. The pangaloon is a slow-moving animal and unlike its relatives, it cannot take refuge in trees. When it is threatened, the pangaloon can curl the paddle-shaped tail (b) beneath its body to protect its soft underparts from the stings and biting jaws of the large ants.

The Pangaloon, Filarmura tuburostra, is an armored, partly quadrupedal, ground-dwelling, insect-eating arbrosaur similar to a pangolin and a giant armadillo, hailing from the Amazon Rainforest, in The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution.

An interesting example of the re-evolution of features once lost, arises in the case of the pangaloon. Its body is covered in scales, but these are not the conventional reptilian scales that were possessed by its archosaurian ancestors 200 million years ago. These scales are actually plates of keratin. The original scales were retained as the archosaur evolved into the primitive coelurosaur dinosaur. Then, as the ancestral coelurosaur developed and evolved into the arbrosaur, many of its scales evolved into insulating feathers.

The pangaloon, which is evolved from an arbrosaur that has reverted to a ground-dwelling way of life, has redeveloped a scaly armor from masses of fur fused together. Its ancestor's ground-dwelling habit evolved as the ants flourished and became widespread in the Oligocene. As the ants evolved then so did the ant-eating adaptations of animals like the pangaloon. The typical, long toothy jaws of the arbrosaur have been replaced, in the pangaloon, by a tubular snout, along which lies a long sticky tongue that can be thrust out to a distance greater than the length of the head. It can push its snout down ant burrows and lap up the ants that adhere to the tongue's stickiness. The middle claw of the forelimb has developed into a strong hook that can tear into ants' nests to expose their tunnels and chambers. The nostrils are high up on the face and can be closed for protection.

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