MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Chinese boat that ran into a coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.An Animal That Looks Like An Acorn Is The Most Trafficked Mammal On Earth which references The Biggest Mammal Victim of the Wildlife Trade Is the Adorable, Endangered Pangolin
Pangolins are hunted both for traditional medicine and meat, which has led the IUCN to consider all eight species to be in decline, including the endangered Sunda and Chinese pangolins. Their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote blood flow (especially with regards to menstruation and lactation), reducing swelling, and as an arthritis treatment.
Like rhino horn (and fingernails), pangolin scales are made of keratin, which has never been shown to have any medicinal effects at all. Additionally, eating pangolin is considered by some to be healthy and, because it's illegal, a kind of counterculture thing, which is just plain dumb. The end result is that some amazing, and woefully understudied, creatures are disappearing before we can even understand them.
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