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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Pangolin – Hong Kong Wildlife | 穿山甲 – 香港野生動物

This mammal has a lot in common with the porcupine. It is also nocturnal, slow-moving, and with high protection of the body made out of keratin. But unlike the porcupine, this one is rare.

Extremely rare, critically endangered, and the number 1 most trafficked mammal in the world.

Did you know that we have pangolins in Hong Kong? Pangolins specialize in eating ants and termites with their long sticky tongue. They are the only mammals with scales all over their body. They were thought to be related to armadillos, anteaters, and sloths in the past. But new studies suggest that they are unique mammals not related to anything that looks alike.

There are 8 species of pangolins in the world. They are found in Asia and Africa – 3 species are endangered. Another 3 species are critically endangered, including our native one – The Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).

They used to be a lot more common back in the days. We could find them from time to time. But now you have to be very experienced plus super lucky to just find one, thanks to deforestation and poaching for their meat and scales to be used in traditional medicines. What for? Hysterical crying in children and women thought to be possessed by devils. What do you say?

Manis pentadactyla (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Pholidota
Family: Manidae
Genus: Manis
Subgenus: Manis
Species: pentadactyla

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

 這一種哺乳類動物, 跟箭豬有很多相似的地方。牠也是夜行性動物, 行動緩慢, 身體外層有堅硬角質層保護。但不似箭豬, 這動物非常罕有。

你知道香港有穿山甲嗎? 穿山甲會用牠細長又具黏力的舌頭吃蟻及白蟻, 牠們是唯一一種有鱗片的哺乳類動物。牠們以往經常被誤為與犰狳, 食蟻獸, 或樹懶有關係。但新的研究表示, 牠們是獨立的一個品種, 跟其他表徵相似的動物沒有關係。

在亞洲及非洲一共有8種穿山甲, 其中3種是瀕危品種, 另外3種是極危物種, 包括香港本地的中華穿山甲 (Manis pentadactyla), 是全球走私量最高的動物。

穿山甲在以往比較容易被發現, 我們間中可以看到牠們。多得了森林開伐及非法獵捕, 現在你必須超級幸運才能看到一隻。人們捕捉牠們據說具有藥用價值的肉及鱗片, 到底是為了甚麼? 小兒的睡眠不寧和容易驚醒, 或作驅魔之用。你覺得呢?