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Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Species of Critically Endangered Monkey Discovered

The Myanmar, or Burmese, Snub-Nosed Monkey was only recently discovered in early 2010. While no live examples of the species have been found, a carcass of the creature has offered insight into the lives of these new animals. Their open, upturned nose is its most distinguishable feature, causing the monkey to sneeze during storms as water enters his naval passages. To avoid this, the monkeys have been seen by locals sitting with their faces tucked downwards, protecting their noses from the rain.

The Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkey has already been considered as being critically endangered, despite having never been scientifically documented. Researchers believe that that only approximately 300 individuals survive, having been hunted for their meat by the locals, and caught in traps. The Chinese logging industry is blamed as another cause of the monkeys' low numbers. The areas being cleared out, both legally and illegally, is encroaching upon the areas where these monkeys are thought to dwell. Conservationists are already moving to educate local people and to create a protected area where the monkeys can roam safely.