[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
NATURE seems to have been singularly careful in the preservation of this animal, for she has surrounded him with a coat of armour, to defend him from his enemies. When closely pursued he turns himself and withdraws his head under the shell, and assumes the shape of a ball; if he be near a precipice, he rolls from one rock to another, and escapes without receiving any injury. The shell, which covers the whole of the body, is composed of several scales, very hard and of a square shape, united by a kind of a cartilaginous substance, which gives flexibility to the whole. The Manis, and Pangolin seem to approach the character of this genus, and all of them to be a link between the quadrupeds and the lizards. They live chiefly on ants and other small insects.