Significance to humans

All species are hunted and trapped for their meat, which is often a favorite delicacy of indigenous people, and for their skins and scales, which are involved in international trade. Their scales are often used for adornment and good-luck charms; for example, they are made into rings and used as charms against rheumatic fever. In Asia, powdered scales are believed to be of medicinal value. The Chinese people have extensively hunted pangolins because the animal's scales are traditionally thought to contain medicinal attributes, such as an antiseptic in fighting fever and skin disease. Its skin is thought to be an aphrodisiac by some hill tribes.

1. Long-tailed pangolin (Manis tetradactyla); 2. African tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis); 3. Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica); 4. Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata); 5. Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla); 6. Giant pangolin (Manis gigantea); 7. Cape pangolin (Manis temminckii). (Illustration by Brian Cressman)

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