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31st May 2022 (6 Topics)

A new macaque species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh


Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new macaque species in Arunachal Pradesh.


About the species:

  • A new species of old world monkey recorded from Arunachal Pradesh has been named after a strategic mountain pass at 13,700 ft above sea level.
  • Sela macaque (Macaca selai), the new-to-science primate was identified and analysed by a team of experts from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the University of Calcutta.
  • The new species was found in western and central parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The Sela macaque was geographically separated from the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) by Sela, the Eastern Himalayan pass at 13,700 ft.
  • Sela Pass acted as a barrier and prevented migration between the two macaque species for around two million years.

Physical Features of Sela macaque:

  • The Sela macaque is genetically closer to the Arunachal macaque and both species have many similar physical characteristics such as heavy built and long dorsal body hair.
  • The Arunachal macaque has a dark face and dark brown colour coat, while the Sela macaque has a pale face and brown colour coat.
  • The Sela macaque has a tail longer than the Tibetan macaque, Assamese macaque, Arunachal macaque and the white-cheeked macaque but shorter than the bonnet macaque and toque macaque.
  • Arunachal macaque (M. munzala) is an endangered and recently discovered cercopithecine primate from Western Arunachal Pradesh, India.


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