Researchers discover new species of monkey – Popa langur is critically endangered

Just discovered – and almost disappeared from the scene again …

Scientists from Germany and Myanmar have described a previously unknown species of monkey. It is in acute danger of extinction!

The so-called Popa langur (one of the crested langurs) lives exclusively in the forests of central Myanmar, announced the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Leipzig on Wednesday.

Four isolated populations with a total of only 200 to 250 animals were found. The largest group is at home on Mount Popa.

Special characteristics of the monkeys: slim body, long tail, wild mane of hair.

“Urgent action must be taken to save this species from extinction,” demanded scientist Frank Momberg from the Burmese Institute Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in Yangon.

The primate species is believed to have existed for a million years, but has now been described for the first timePhoto: AFP PHOTO / GERMAN PRIMATE CENTER

► The researchers did not discover the first evidence of the existence of the new species in nature – but in the London Museum of Natural History. There they carried out genetic analyzes on historical crested langur specimens, which they compared with faecal samples from wild animals.

Both genetically and in terms of coat color, tail length and skull size, there are differences between the Popa langur and the related crested langur species, the scientists have now explained. The researchers from DPZ, the Göttingen Leibniz Institute for Primate Research and FFI published their findings in the journal “Zoological Research”, which appeared on Wednesday.

Comprehensive genetic studies on all 20 known crested langur species therefore also provided insight into the evolution of the species. The Popa langur split off from the other langurs about a million years ago, said the DPZ.

The crested langurs belong to the suborder of the dry-nosed primates, which differs from that of the wet-nosed primates. More than 20 primate species are threatened with extinction.


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