The masticatory muscles of the Malayan pangolin, Manis javanica, were observed in dissection, and relative positions of the cranium and the mandible were examined under soft-X ray photographs. The M. temporalis was well-developed in the medial area of the zygomatic process of temporal bone. The M. masseter was found to consist of three large well-developed bundles between the zygomatic arch and the mandible. Based on these observations, it is suggested that the thin V-shaped mandible may act as a substantial support in the ventral portion of the oral cavity, and that the M. masseter and M. temporalis may serve to help fix the shape of mouth, when the pangolin uses the specialized tongue for feeding. We demonstrated that the M. digastricus is at least functionally able to depress and open the mandible. In addition, the well-developed M. mylohyoideus may contribute to the control of intraoral pressure during mastication.
1998 The Mammalogical Society of Japan