New snub-nosed monkey found in Northern Myanmar

October 27th, 2010 - 4:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 27 (ANI): Scientists have found a new species of monkey in Northern Myanmar (formerly Burma.)

The research, by an international team of primatologists, reveals how Rhinopithecus strykeri, a species of snub-nosed monkey, has an upturned nose which causes it to sneeze when it rains.

Field biologists led by Ngwe Lwin from the Myanmar Biodiversity And Nature Conservation Association and supported by an international team of primatologists from Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the People Resources and Biodiversity Foundation, discovered the new species during the nationwide Hoolock Gibbon Status Review in early 2010.

Hunters reported the presence of a monkey species with prominent lips and wide upturned nostrils.

Sightings were reported from the eastern Himalayas to the northeastern Kachin state leading the team to conduct field surveys, which led to the discovery of a small population of a new species which displays characteristics unlike any other snub-nosed species previously described.

Thomas Geissmann, who is leading the taxonomic description, describes the monkey as having almost entirely blackish fur with white fur only on ear tufts, chin beard and perineal area. It also has a relatively long tail, approximately 140pc of its body size.

The species has been named Rhinopithecus strykeri in honour of Jon Stryker, President and Founder of the Arcus Foundation who supported the project. However, in local dialects it is called mey nwoah, ‘monkey with an upturned face.’

While the species is new to science the local people know it well and claim that it is very easy to find when it is raining because the monkeys often get rainwater in their upturned noses causing them to sneeze.

The study has been published in the American Journal of Primatology. (ANI)

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