New Arunachal Monkey named after mountain pass
6th Jun, 2022
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 (Macacaselai), 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 (Macacamunzala) 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.