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New Species Of Old World Monkey : Sela macaque

New Species Of Old World Monkey : Sela macaque

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.
  • Their study has been published in the latest edition of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Phylogenetics relate to the evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms.
  • The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Sela macaque was geographically separated from the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) of Tawang district by Sela.
  • This mountain pass acted as a barrier by restricting the migration of individuals of these two species for approximately two million years, the study said.
  • Sela is situated between Dirang and Tawang towns in western Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The study says 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.
  • Sela macaque belongs to the sinica species-group of Macaca, but it differs from all other members of thisgroup through attributes such as brown collar hair and muzzle, and the absence of chin whiskers, the study says.

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