Scientists have discovered a new species primate in the jungles of Myanmar.
This new species of Langur (Hanuman) has been found in the Popa Mountains on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Thus, the scientists have named it "Popa Langur" or Trachypithecus Popa.
Although this primate looks a lot like a Spectacled Langur or the Dusky Leaf monkey, in reality there are many differences between the species.
However, it is an animal of the genus Trachypithecus like the Dusky Leaf Monkeys. There are 22 species of Langurs including the Popa Langurs under this genus.
The new Langur was discovered by 29 researchers from 11 countries at the initiative of the German Primate Center and Fauna and Flora International.
Tanvir Ahmed, a Bangladeshi researcher in the team, confirmed to The Business Standard about the discovery of a new Langur.
Tanvir Ahmed, who is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) primate expert team, has been conducting research on Dusky Leaf monkeys in Bangladesh since 2017.
The researcher added that in 1913, British zoologist Guy C. Shortridge collected a dead Langur from the Popa Mountains in Myanmar, which is now preserved in the Nature History Museum in London. Until now, this creature was considered to be a Dusky Leaf monkey.
But 1 year ago, scientists conducted physical and genetic tests on the animals remains to re-examine the classification of the Dusky Leaf monkeys among the animals preserved at the Nature History Museum in England.
At the same time the feces of wild Popa Langurs were collected from Myanmar and various samples of feces and hair of Dusky Leaf monkeys were collected from 4 zoos and 3 museums in 7 countries including America, Netherlands, England, Vietnam, Singapore and was taken to the Primate Center in Germany.
There, scientists carried out genetic experiments for a long time. Although genetic testing was being done in Germany, all physical testing was completed at the Nature Institute Museum in London.
A specimen of Dusky Leaf monkey feces collected from the National Zoo of Bangladesh about 17 years ago was also used in that genetic test.
Tanvir Ahmed further said that Popa Langur is in great danger in the world due to deforestation and hunting. Researchers estimate that there may be 200 to 250 primates left in the Popa Mountains, east of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Apart from this, this species is not found anywhere else in the world.
The research paper on the discovery of this Popa Langur was published on Wednesday in the famous international science journal Zoological Research.
Although Popa Langur looks a lot like the Dusky Leaf monkeys of Bangladesh, a male Popa Langur's tail is about 140 centimeters longer than that of a Dusky Leaf monkey.
The Popa Langur lives at an altitude of about 1500 m above sea level where as the Dusky Leaf monkeys of Bangladesh live at an altitude of 500 m above sea level or lower than that.
According to the latest (September) list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2020, there are 507 species of monkeys in the world under 80 genera.
The use of modern technology in science has led to the discovery of 96 new apes in the current millennium, of which 16 species are found in Asia. The discovery of Popa Hanuman has led to the identification of 508 species of Langurs in the world today.