Magazine article USA TODAY

New Species of African Monkey Discovered

Magazine article USA TODAY

New Species of African Monkey Discovered

Article excerpt

For only the second time in the last 28 years, a new species of African monkey, Cercopithecus Iomamiensis, locally known as the lesula, has been discovered--in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first lesula found was a young captive animal seen in the town of Opala in 2007 by survey teams of the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, Circleville, Ohio, which was undertaking the first systematic inventories of large mammals of this landscape in the Congo.

The young monkey bore a resemblance to the owl-faced monkey, a species absent from the central Congo forest block and only known to occur far to the east on the right bank of the Congo River. Its coloration, however, was not that of the owl-faced monkey and was unlike that of any other known species. Along with anatomical and behavioral observations in the field, genetic analyses demonstrated conclusively that the lesula is distinct from its closest relative, the owl-faced monkey.

"The fact that we are just finding a new species of primate in this area of the Congolese rain forest in the 21st century indicates that there is still so much to learn," relates Kate Detwiler, assistant professor of anthropology at Florida Atlantic University, Ft. …

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