Monday, August 30, 2010

Creature Feature: Pangolin.

Yesterday, a friend sent me this little article detailing the gendered nature of the Western dragon. I was delighted because it would FINALLY put an end to the "do/can dragons have tits" controversy that comes up in scaly/furry circles every so often.

If you know nothing about the debates that go on in furry communities, good for you. It means that you have yet to sink that low. Nonetheless, it is a fine place to see what people think about whether centaurs might have two dicks (according to one sculpture in Lefkandi, they had at LEAST one at the human torso) or whether reptiles, specifically dragons, should have breasts or not.

The picture of St. George slaying a truly feminine dragon speaks volumes. Even the Enuma Elish's Tiamat was described with a rack (or, well, jiggling udders). Many Greek dragons (drakaina in feminine) were either stated as female or had feminine upper parts.

How does that work? Aren't dragons, you know...scaly? Mammals don't have scales!


Pangolins (genus Manis) are found in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. They are all armored and eat nothing but eusocial insects. Like many anteaters (to whom they are not really related), pangolins are toothless and have very, very long tongues.

...Yeah, you TOTALLY saw this one coming.

They are, throughout their ranges on both continents, considered good meat. Chinese medicine being as crazy as it is also harvests pangolin scales for meds and armor. They believe that the scales of a pangolin will decrease swelling and make breast milk more nutritious. (That sounds like something out of Seikon no Qwaser.)

HOW does this help breast milk, again?

The numbers concerning exactly how many pangolins are served in restaurants in various oriental nations are staggering. Just in July 2010, more than 7.8 tonnes of frozen pangolin and 1,800 kg of pangolin scales were caught at a customs post. Over two thousand pangolins had died to fill that order.

China would be more awesome if it cared about its fauna.

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