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Scientists Find Previously Undiscovered Subspecies of 'Titi' Monkeys Brazil

The discovery was made by Mariluce Messias of the Federal University of Rondônia, who had started studying titi monkeys in 2011.

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Updated:December 23, 2019, 6:58 PM IST
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Scientists Find Previously Undiscovered Subspecies of 'Titi' Monkeys Brazil
Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

Researchers have discovered a new species of monkeys in southwestern Brazil. A subspecies of titi monkeys, the primates were first documented in 1914, but were thought to be ashy black titi due to their dark fur.

The discovery was made by Mariluce Messias of the Federal University of Rondônia, who had started studying titi monkeys in 2011, Daily Mail reported. Messias was studying how rapid pace of deforestation in the region affected local monkey populations when she started noticing that there were some differences in the colouring of its pelt.

Some of the primates were sporting reddish-brown patches on their back along with white splotch on their chests, the report revealed.

Messias collected gene samples from some of the primates and tested it against DNA samples of ten other local monkey species, including the ashy black titi. The results went on to confirm that she had discovered a new species, plecturocebus parecis, or Parecis titi.

The report cited an interview that Adrian Barnett, one of Messias’s research partners, gave New Scientist, where he was quoted as saying that deforestation gives everyone access to remote areas, allowing scientists to enter areas that have never properly been explored before.

The report revealed that the dwindling habitat of the newly discovered species prompts researchers to hope that it will be classified as 'near threatened' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of endangered animals.

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