Monday, December 12, 2011

New species of snub-nosed monkey discovered in Myanmar

Image: A digital reconstruction of the Burmese snub-nosed monkey by Dr Thomas Geissmann

A new species of monkey with unusual upturned nostrils has been discovered in north eastern Myanmar.

Scientists surveying in the area initially identified the so-called snub-nosed monkey from skin and skulls obtained from local hunters.

A small population was found separated from the habitat of other species of snub-nosed monkeys by the Mekong and Salween rivers.

The total population has been estimated at just 260-330 individuals.

A team of Burmese and international primatologists identified the new species of snub-nosed monkey during this year's Myanmar Primate Conservation Program.

Local hunters reported the presence of a monkey which did not match any description of species previously identified in the area.

After further investigation in the north eastern state of Kachin, experts found a small population of previously undiscovered black monkeys with white ear tufts and chin beards, prominent lips and wide upturned nostrils. Read More