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.