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New monkey species discovered in Myanmar

October 29, 2010

Hunters' reports have led scientists to discover a new species of monkey in the northern forests of Myanmar.

Discovered by biologists from the Myanmar Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association with support from primatologists with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the People Resources and Biodiversity Foundation, the strange looking primate is a member of the snub-nosed monkey family, adding a fifth member to this unmistakably odd-looking group of Asian primates. However, the species survives in only a small single population, threatened by Chinese logging and hunting.

Described in the American Journal of Primatology, the new monkey, dubbed the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), was only discovered after researchers heard reports from hunters of a strange monkey with upturned nostrils and prominent lips. It is known locally as mey nwoah,or 'monkey with an upturned face'.

image

With no photos yet of a living Myanmar snub-nosed monkey, this image was reconstructed using Photoshop, based on a Yunnan snub-nosed monkey and the carcass of the newly discovered species, the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey. Image by: Dr. Thomas Geissmann.

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