Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 27th, 2010
The research team was working on a survey of gibbons in the former Burma, what today is northeastern Myanmar, in early 2010 when villagers told them about a monkey with an odd nose and prominent lips. Based on the descriptions, the researchers wondered if the locals were seeing snub-nosed monkeys, threatened primates previously found only in China and Vietnam. The team were told by locals that the monkeys aren’t hard to find at all. You just have to wait for it to rain.
The new species, a previously unknown type of snub-nosed monkey dubbed Rhinopithecus strykeri, has a nose so upturned that the animals sneeze loudly when it rains. To avoid inhaling water, the monkeys supposedly sit with their heads tucked between their knees on drizzly days, according to local hunters.
The news of the new monkey is being broadcast around the world, after being reported on October 26th, in the American Journal of Primatology. The find was made by biologists from the Myanmar Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association and primatologists from Fauna and Flora International and the People Resources and Biodiversity Foundation. (The Fauna and Flora International is the group supporting serious research in pursuit of evidence of Orang Pendek in Sumatra.)