Taxonomy

Manis javanica belongs to the Mammalian order Pholidota, meaning ‘scaled animals’.

  • Manis is derived from the Latin term manes, referring to the spirits of the dead or ghosts in Roman religion.  The genus is so named due to their nocturnal habits and unusual appearance.
  • Javanica refers to the geographical region in which this species occurs.

The common name ‘pangolin’ is from the Malayan term ‘peng-goling’ (a roller) and refers to the animal’s defence strategy of rolling into a ball (Gotch, 1979).

  • Morphology

    Manis javanica scales are of similar construction to the rhino horn. Learn more about the appearance and physical features of this unique looking animal.