Meet Rhinopithecus strykeri, the Burmese snub-nosed monkey that sneezes when it rains. It is covered with black hair from its head to its very long tail, except for its ears and chin beard which have little white tufts. Angelina Jolie lips complete the look.
On it’s flat little face it has an upturned nose and wide nostrils, perfect for rain catching. When it rains they are often found with their heads between their legs. Hating life.
The monkey was found in Northern Myanmar, formally known as Burma. The research was conducted by a team of primatologists including Flora & Fauna International.
It’s new to science, but old news to the local people who already knew it well in Lisu language as mey nwoah and in Law Waw language as myuk na tok te, both mean ‘monkey with an upturned nose.’
It’s like the Margay cat again… we don’t hear about it until it’s documented in a SCIENCE way, in a journal, written and peer reviewed. /rant.
Though they DID interview hunters as part of the fieldwork. One of the hunters even gave them a bag he had made with the skin of a juvenile snub-nosed monkey. I guess that counts.
Other species of snub-nosed monkeys have been found in China and Vietnam, but this one is different in that it is particularly black, especially sneezy, and the skin around its eyes is pale pink instead of blue (among other things.) All snub-nosed monkeys are considered endangered, and it is estimated that the population of this species is only 260 – 330 individuals. Local people and Flora & Fauna International are working to protect the newly found species, but as always conservation is a tough gig.
Below is the citation for the journal article BUT BE WARNED! I couldn’t find it. I tried to resolve the doi and got nada. I searched all through the American Primate Journal and found nothing. I’ll keep checking and see if it comes back. Post a comment if you can find it before me.
Geissmann, T., Lwin, N., Aung, S., Aung, T., Aung, Z., Hla, T., Grindley, M., & Momberg, F. (2010). A new species of snub-nosed monkey, genus Rhinopithecus Milne-Edwards, 1872 (Primates, Colobinae), from northern Kachin state, northeastern Myanmar American Journal of Primatology DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20894
UPDATE: Thanks to the comments below who found the journal article. Download it in pdf.