The Chinese pangolin is sometimes referred to as the scaly anteater. The Chinese pangolin is approximately 60 cm in body length, and has overlapping scales accompanied by hairs, a short pointed head and an overall bronze coloration. To obtain it's main food source of ants and termites, pangolins use a long sticky tongue. Conservation concerns for the Chinese pangolin are 1) pangolins are being hunted for their meat, considered a delicacy in some parts of Asia, and 2) habitat destruction, principally by land developers.
-- Excerpts from the Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
The geographical range of the Chinese pangolin, Manis pentadactyla, is westward through Nepal, Assam, eastern Himalaya, Burma and China. The Chinese pangolin inhabits subtropical and deciduous forests, where often they are close to one of their primary food sources, large termite mounds. Using sharp claws on all feet, the pangolin burrows up to 8 feet below the surface for shelter.
The Chinese pangolin, Manis pentadactyla, will be the species sequenced as part of an initiative to expand sequencing of mammalian genomes, chosen to maximize evolutionary clade information and, where possible, to take advantage of known biological models. The additional mammalian genome sequencing initiative calls for 2X whole genome coverage of plasmids with a low coverage of fosmid end sequence for each selected mammal. For more information on the mammalian genomes represented in this initiative please visit this Genome Sequencing Proposal page. Funding for the sequence characterization of the Chinese pangolin genome is being provided by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).