Pangolins received a lot of attention in the current corona crisis. But what kind of animals are these pangolins, which look like a pine cone when rolled up? And why do they need chitin in their special diet? Answers to those questions and more facts in this article.
Two groups of coronaviruses related to the virus SARS-CoV-2 of the human pandemic have been identified in pangolins. Even though the theory that the new coronavirus has been transmitted directly from pangolins to humans is considered improbable, pangolins have become better known recently. The meat of the animals is considered a delicacy in countries like china and Vietnam. Further, the pangolin scales, made of keratin, are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The worldwide trade of these endangered animals is prohibited, but there is still an international illegal trade with pangolins.