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New Species Of Monkey Discovered In Africa

New Species Of Monkey Discovered In Africa

17th September 2012
(c) John A. Hart

A new species of monkey (the second in 28 years) has been discovered in a remote area in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa, after scientists discovered a female that was being kept as a pet in a local village.

Known to be a member of the guenon group of Old World Monkeys, the new species that is known to locals as lesula has been given the scientific name of Cercopithecus lomamiensis after the Lomani River which separates this species from it's closest relatives.

(c) John A. Hart

The scientific paper describes this distinctive new species as having, "A mane of long grizzled blond hairs [that] frames a protruding pale, naked face and muzzle, with a variably distinct cream-coloured vertical nose stripe."

These monkeys have been found in a small area of the Congo basin that is isolated from other regions by the Congo and Lomami rivers and is very rarely explored by science, highlighting the importance of protecting the area which is known for it's biodiversity.

(c) John A. Hart

However, with an estimated range of around 6,500 square miles, researchers are concerned about the future of this previously unknown species due to increasing levels of human activity in the area and the killing of the monkeys by local hunters for their meat.

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