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A new species of monkey has been discovered in Tanzania

The monkey, which was first described thanks to photos taken last year, was considered a new species, but tests carried out revealed that it is even more special - a representative of a new species - a relative of the baboon

Rangusbos kipunji – a thin strip of hair can be distinguished. "A sobering reminder of how much we still have to learn about the diversity of life on our planet"
A recording of the unique call of the monkey - on the BBC website
For the video section where the new monkey is seen - on the BBC website

A new species of monkey that was discovered in the highlands of Tanzania in Africa, turned out to be more unique than the researchers initially thought - it is not a new species that belongs to a known genus of monkeys, but also the first species of a completely new species in its own right. This is what an international group of scientists reported in the last issue of the rapid reports edition of the journal Science, Science Expressers.
The international team warned that the new animal is already in danger of extinction due to deforestation and hunting. The monkey was discovered in two separate high mountain areas in Tanzania: Rongwi-Livingstone Forest in the southern tier and Ndondolo Forest in the Ogzungwa Mountains. At first the discoverers called it "Mangebi Ramot" because the researchers were mistaken and thought it was another of the Mangebi monkeys, actually closer to the baboons. It was reported that the monkeys were given a new name - Rangwesbos Kipunji.

The height of the monkey, known to the locals as Kipunji, is about 90 centimeters, its color is gray-brown with off-white fur on its belly and on the tip of its long, curly tail, and it also has a tuft of long hairs on the top of its head. His face is black. Adults have a unique call that sounds like barking and honking.
Tim Davenport, the leading researcher among the authors of the article, who works at the Association for the Conservation of Wild Life in Tanzania, said: "We first came across a monkey about years ago - and the recognition that it is a new species is very exciting. Since then we knew that it was only a matter of time until we encountered a dead monkey, because they are hunted - and as soon as we started examining it closely, we realized that it was really a new genus. It was exceptional - it's something that doesn't happen often."

The kiponji are the first living primates of which a new species has been discovered in the last 83 years. "This is exciting news, because it shows that the age of discovery is not over," said William Stanley, director of the mammal collection at the Chicago Museum of Natural History, who holds a stuffed monkey of the new species. "The discovery of a new species of the most studied group of mammals is a sobering reminder of how much we still have to learn about the diversity of life on our planet," added Link Olson, of the Alaska Museum, who worked with Stanley and his partners on the report.

The scientific classification - taxonomy - classifies the animals and plants in a hierarchy whose purpose is to demonstrate the kinship between different individuals. Each individual is classified by species, genus, family, series, class, system and kingdom. Man, for example, belongs to the animal kingdom, the system of mammals, the department of primates, the family of great apes, the genus "man" and the species "thinking man" - Homo sapiens.

The new African monkey was initially identified as belonging to the Mogherbian genus, but after a farmer captured such a monkey, scientists were able to take a closer look at it, and even take DNA samples after its death. The genetic analysis showed that the monkey is much closer to the baboon species of the Papio genus, and not to the Maghreb genus.

"If we were to get these surprising results and they were based on only one gene, we would doubt their truth. But every gene we tested supported the proximity of the kipunji to baboons and kept them away from the Mughrebs," said Olsen.

"To find, in the 21st century, a new species of monkey living in the wild is surprising in itself. To find a new type of ape, which sheds new light on the history of ape evolution in Africa and Eurasia - it's simply amazing," said John Oates, professor of anthropology at Hunter College in New York. "This discovery strengthens the hypothesis that southern Tanzania will play an important role - until recently, unexpected - as a place of refuge for many species that have become extinct in other parts of the world"

When scientists first discovered the monkey in 2005, they placed it as a species of Lophocebus popularly known as Managabim, but they were only able to study it from photographs. However, the discovery of Kifunji's body in a villagers' trap made it possible to carry out genetic and morphological research.

Stanley said one of the big puzzles is why this species has managed to elude science. This is probably due to his abstinent nature. "They live on trees most of the time, they rarely go down to the ground and when they are on the trees they remain relatively hidden. This is in addition to the fact that the areas where he was discovered are not on the regular path of foreigners, which led to them disappearing for such a long period of time."
But as mentioned, although the kipunji was just discovered, it is in danger of extinction when the number of monkeys is less than a thousand, Davenport told the BBC. "There is a small population in Ndanodulu, but only two or three groups in Haru Rongwu, where the forest is thicker. The forest there is being felled and is not managed. In addition, the monkeys are hunted because they raid the wheat and the local inhabitants set traps for them to protect the grain.
Stanley fears for the future of the remaining population due to human activity. Therefore, the new species was included in the red list of endangered species of the IUCN organization.

They know evolution - mammals
They know endangered animals
For news at the BBC

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