The order Pholidota was never especially numerous and diverse. At the beginning of their evolution these animals had adapted to feed on insects, having become ecological analogues of anteaters in Old World. This specialization caused their conservatism and imposed certain restrictions to the body size and way of life, having allowed animals to vary in quite strict limits. The upper limit of the body size of pangolins is rather rigidly limited, but the lower limit is limited by nothing, and one of Neocene species of pangolins – tree micropangola – shows it. This species is adapted to life in tropical rainforest where it inhabits forest canopy – the place richest in life. To make it possible the animal had to offer in the sizes and physical power. Tree micropangola differs from its relatives in small size and truncated snout. The body length of this animal is about a half a meter, and wide muscled tail takes a half of this length. The body of micropangola is covered with corneous scales, as at its ancestor. But the scales are rather thick and strong, and the scales along the spine have pointed tips. On head and paws scales actually turn to corneous scutes located closely to each other. Primary color of scales is reddish-brown; sides of head are coloured lighter a little.
This animal has short snout, but the tongue is long and flexible. Its base is shifted far back and is attached to chest bone. Due to elasticity of tissues the tongue may extend from the mouth at the distance equal to double length of the head. Ears and eyes of this animal are small, and sight sense is bad. But it is compensated very much by keen senses of smell and touch which are used in food search. The feeding animal constantly taps on tree with claws and determines by the type of wood vibration the existence of cavities in wood mass – the tunnels and the chambers gnawed by insects. Having felt their presence, it breaks wood by claws and penetrates the tongue into the opened tunnels, licking off the insects. Paws of tree micropangola are adapted for grabbing of branches. On forepaws strong and slightly bent claws nestle against the palm and form strong grap, allowing the animal to cling even on thin branches. Feet of hinder legs are covered with corneous combs allowing clinging to bark and branches much stronger. The tip of tail of this animal is expanded, and scales bordering the body edges are strong and peaked – it is an additional adaptation for fixation on trunk and branches. A usual pose of feeding animal is the perching a tail downwards. Thus scales at the back edge of tail stick to the bark and take up weight of the animal. The main protective adaptation at this species is the set of strong corneous scales. They defend tree micropangola against birds and small arboreal predators. Defending itself, micropangola sits across the branch, envelopes it with tail like a ring, and covers the head with tail tip. Due to strong muscles the animal can keep such pose till about one hour. If the predator doesn’t stop attempts of attack or is too strong, tree micropangola can defend itself actively, imposing on it the near battle which can finish with serious injuries for the attacker. Thus, having grab the branch by hind legs and having clasped it by the tail, the animal sharply throws up a body, strikes to the enemy some fast blows by large claws of forepaws, and then clasps a branch again and hides the head under tail tip. The seasonality in reproduction of this speciees isn’t expressed, but in areas of monsoonal climate the most number of youngs appears in rain season. The courtship ritual of tree micropangola is primitive and is reduced to chase of female by male. After pairing animals abandon each other. There is only one cub always; it stays with mother up to three-monthly age and then starts to lead independent life. Life expectancy doesn’t exceed 12 years.