Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monkey Business

I get excited when new things are discovered. New planets, new elements to add to the periodic tables, new bugs, new places to eat- it's glorious! Today I read that there was a new monkey discovered in Brazil. Well, it's actually more of a sub-species of the Saddleback Tamarin monkey from the upper Amazon Basin.

The small monkey, which is mostly gray and brown and weighs 213 grams, has been named the Mura's Saddleback Tamarin after the Mura Indian tribe of the Purus and Madeira river basins where the new sub-species was found.

It is 240 millimeters tall with a 320-millimeter tail.That's almost a pocket monkey!

*takes a moment to add "Pocket Monkey" to holiday wish list*

Like most animals, they are threatened by several planned development projects in the region. One in particular a major highway cutting through the Amazon that is currently being paved (is that even allowed? I obviously didn't learn all that I needed to learn about Brazil and the Amazon in Grade 8.). Other threats to the region include a proposed gas pipeline and two hydroelectric dams currently in the beginning stages of construction.
The study's lead author for International Journal of Primatology who printed an article in June regarding the monkey's discovery has been quoted "This discovery should serve as a wake-up call that there is still so much to learn from the world's wild places, yet humans continue to threaten these areas with destruction."

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