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Which EDGE mammal interests you more: The pangolin or the echidna ? (poll)

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 23 Jan 2021.

?

which mammal will you vote for ?

Poll closed 6 Feb 2021.
  1. Pangolin

    66.7%
  2. Echidna

    33.3%
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Another poll in a series for zoochatters to vote for one of two EDGE mammals. This time it is scaly vs spiky with the the echidna (any species) and the pangolin (also any species).

    Both are termite-insectivore specialists in terms of their feeding ecologies, both are evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered and both are singular looking and fascinating mammals .

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Which of these mammals interests you most / will you vote for ?

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the mammal you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!

    Photo credits to @NigeW and @WhistlingKite24.

     
    evilmonkey239, Tafin and Zorro like this.
  2. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    Quite a hard one I must say, both of these animals are so amazingly unique some people who haven't heard of either of them don't believe me when I tell them about these species.
    Echidnas, (being monotremes) are very quite unique and charismatic creatures, all species being quite amazing regarding their lifestyles. Their discoveries are also great stories to behold, and their especial reproduction attributes also make them quite intriguing creatures.

    Pangolins though I admit have similar feeding techniques, but engage me slightly more than Echidnas, mainly because the spread across the species are a little more diverse and their overall lifestyles are idiosyncratic to say the least. Their poaching threats are also so astoundingly pressurizing and need more attention than ever, some species varying conservation measures though. Their Keratin scales make them look almost like a living pine cone, and their defensive practices are simple but effective to Non-human predators.

    Keep in mind that this was a very close call, and choosing two insectivores make them have some admiring similarities as well, such as long sticky tongues to reach within arthropod living structures, and eating quite efficiently. Both are Nocturnal, and both are Threatened to some extent, Pangolins I believe having greater threats the Echidnas though.

    My favorite species of Each would have to be Attenborough's Long-beaked echidna purely out of guilty pleasure and interest in them as a young boy, But Western Long-beaked is my favorite currently. Favorite Pangolin would be African black-bellied Pangolin, since having the most elaborate scale patterns and the definition of a colorful "Halloween mammal".

    So yeah, Pangolins made the cut this time. I am quite enjoying these Polls O.C, I hope there will be more in the future.(?) :)
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comment and the vote @CheeseChameleon2007 !

    Yes, its a close one isn't it ?

    Both of these mammals are very interesting indeed with how unusual they are and I also believe both of them are very charismatic too in their own ways.

    I think you are right to say that pangolins as a whole are under greater anthropogenic threats because of how sought after they are for both human consumption and the traditional medicine trade in China.

    But it is worth mentioning that two of the three extant long beaked echidnas are critically endangered and the third is considered "vulnerable" by the IUCN due to anthropogenic stressors like habitat loss and bushmeat hunting in Papua New Guinea (obviously not comparable to the pressures that pangolins are under in Asia and Africa though)

    In the case of the critically endangered Attenborough's long beaked echidna it isn't yet known whether the species is extinct (unlikely in my opinion) but it is certainly very close to extinction.

    Here is a good article on the species that you might find interesting:

    The Long-beaked Echidna: can we save the earth’s oldest living mammal?
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2021
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear it , thats awesome :D

    Yes, I think there will probably be about 6 or 7 more to come and then I'll call it a day for EDGE mammal polls.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2021
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  5. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Pangolins. It's just a wonderful animal. Let's hope it can be saved by those pesky poachers and TCMs.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your vote and comment @aardvark250 !

    I have to ask you this as you are Cantonese, do you believe that the public of Hong kong are gradually turning against the practice of using pangolin parts in TCM ?

    What is your impression about this issue ?
     
  7. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    A no brainer really, The Echidna only one of two mammals in the world to lay eggs and also an Aussie :D
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comment @Zorro ! (though you still need to vote for the echidna)

    Lol, a bit of Aussie pride coming into the poll, thats awesome :D

    Yes, I agree, I voted for the echidna because for me just in terms of interest these animals as monotremes are more fascinating than the pangolin (which I also find interesting though not as much).
     
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  9. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    It's mostly mainland China that use them, I think most people in HK are already educated enough to not use them. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of illegal shipping that use HK as a route. (Oh and they're illegal)
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see, I would have thought that traditional medicine using the pangolin would also be present in Hong Kong as well as the Chinese mainland but it is great to hear that the public are not susceptible to those kinds of beliefs in traditional medicine.

    I really do hope that the outreach and environmental educational efforts of conservationists in and outside China can convince the public of mainland China not to consume the parts or flesh of the pangolin too.
     
  11. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    There are work being done to conserve pangolin in Hong Kong (There are wild individuals here).
    You can read a bit here:Roll with us - World Pangolin Day 2020

    As I've said before, I do believe herbs and plants those kind of TCMs may actually be useful, but for pangolins or rhino horns they're just not.
     
  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree , there are certainly some valid curative / medicinal properties in plants and fungi used in Chinese traditional medicine.

    However, in the body parts of animal species such as the pangolin, tiger, giant salamander, cat ba langur, black bear and rhinoceros etc there are of course none whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2021
  13. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

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    I can't choose.

    I had the luck of seeing pangolins in Leipzig, amazing animals. Very sad that they are hit so hard by poaching for traditional "medicine".

    Echidnas I have seen a lot more, both in Europe and in Australia. Mostly short-beaked ones, but also a long-beaked one. Almost all were in captivity, but I also saw one on a very hot day in Grampians National Park walking back from the Mackenzie Falls to the parking place.
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the vote and the comment @AWP !

    Ah yes, I remember in another thread of mine that you mentioned you had been to Australia and seen many endemic species, it seems so surreal to me to imagine seeing an echidna near a carpark. I would certainly like to see one in the wild one day.

    A couple of question for you.

    What was the pangolin species you saw in Leipzig ?

    Where was the long beaked echidna kept that you mentioned seeing ?
     
  15. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    The pangolin in Leipzig should be Chinese
     
  16. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

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    Well, I saw it on my way to the carpark, but it was in a fairly forested section of the walking route. I was able to photograph it, but the photo is of poor quality; rocks, bushes and a brown furry thing with some spines in the center.

    Chinese like @aardvark250 wrote, the Formosan (and nominate) subspecies to be precise.

    The nocturnal house of Taronga Zoo in Sydney, being the only captive long-beaked echidna currently in a public facility as far as I know.
     
  17. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    I only voted for the pangolin because having never seen one before, it got a slight edge. I've seen the Short-Beaked Echidna at Brookfield twice before, and while I love them, Pangolins as a whole are more interesting to me. (Yes, I am aware, the same zoo has a White-bellied pangolin on display, I need to go back and see it) However, if it was any long beaked echidna versus any pangolin, save perhaps the giant, the echidna would win. I like both very much and seeing a species of either one would definitely be the highlight of a zoo, but as a whole pangolins just have the slightest edge.
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like an excellent encounter, I would love to see one of these in the wild, I think it would blow my mind really to contemplate such a strange creature in its natural habitat.

    Ah I see, are Leipzig doing well with keeping this species alive at the zoo ?

    Ah ha! so you saw the old male echidna who came from the London zoo it would seem.
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for @ChunkyMunky pengopus for your comment and vote !

    What is it about the pangolin that gives it the slight edge apart from you not having seen one ?

    I mean is it the appearance of these animals or an aspect of their ecology ?
     
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  20. evilmonkey239

    evilmonkey239 Well-Known Member

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    I voted for pangolin. Though I could see how echidnas would be seen as inherently more “unique” due to being monotremes while pangolins are placental mammals (though the latter are of course very visually distinct in their own right), I have to say it is pangolins that have always interested me more. Possibly this is related to them being a bit more obscure than echidnas to the general public until I’d say a few years ago (I wanna say they experienced a spike in popularity around 2016-2017 when public knowledge of the poaching crisis suddenly increased). They’re also obviously rarer in zoos; though I’ve only seen one echidna in the flesh to date, I have never laid eyes on a real pangolin.