New Monkey Species Discovered
The species, known locally as the lesula, was discovered after a young female was seen kept captive at the home of a primary school director in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.
The young animal resembled an owl faced monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni) but the colour of its rear end was different to that of any known species, the researchers writing in the journal PLoS ONE said
In fact, they say, its blue rear end is unique.
‘The blue perineum, buttocks and scrotum displayed by adult males are more extensive than genital patches in any other Cercopithecus’, the researchers wrote.
Other wild lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) have since been found in their remote range in central Democratic Republic of Congo, where they live in forests and feed on leafstalks, fruit and flower buds.
The discovery of the new species, in one of the country’s last unexplored forest areas, is only the second time a new monkey species has been found in Africa in the last 28 years.
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