With four-inch canines and a jaw capable of generating 4,450 newtons of force, lion bites are something most animals want to avoid.
But pangolins are not most animals. Though these creatures weigh no more than 10 pounds, they are covered from head to tail in a natural armor—a network of overlapping scales made of a tough protein called keratin.
When a large predator comes calling, a pangolin need not run or try to fight back. All it has to do is curl up into a tiny, impenetrable ball.
And this is exactly what a guide with Safari Live witnessed earlier this month during a nighttime drive through Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. (See our favorite lion videos.)