Abstract

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.

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