KUNMING, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have discovered a new pangolin species based on genomic data collected from pangolin scales.
The new pangolin species was named Manis mysteria, or the Asian mysterious pangolin. Notably, more than 100 years have passed since the last time researchers discovered a pangolin species, the Philippine pangolin.
Pangolins are among the most commonly illegally traded wild mammals in the world. There was a total of eight known species before the new discovery, all of which are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and three of which are classified as "critically endangered."
The new species was found during the molecular species identification of smuggled pangolin scales seized in China's Yunnan and Hong Kong regions, when new mitochondrial haplotypes were detected, said Yu Li, a researcher at Yunnan University, who participated in the joint research.
The result of the research was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.