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Extrinsic Lingual Musculature of Two Pangolins (Pholidota: Manidae)

Lap-Ki Chan
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382356 472-480 First published online: 19 May 1995


The tongue of Manis tricuspis (an African pangolin) and Manis javanica (an Asian pangolin) can be divided into three parts: free part; glossal tube; nonprotruded part. The glossal tube is a complex structure consisting of five concentric musculofascial tubes. It probably provides extra mucous membrane to cover the tongue during protrusion. This study demonstrates the similarity between the pangolin's tongue and that of the great anteater (Myrmecophaga), which, however, does not necessarily imply a close phylogenetic relationship between the two.

Key words
  • pangolins
  • extrinsic lingual muscles
  • Manis

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