Monkey find may establish new family of primates

Artykuły


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Monkey find may establish new family of primates

Alok Jha, science correspondent
Friday May 12, 2006
The Guardian

A rare and reclusive African monkey discovered last year is believed to belong to an entirely new family of primates - the first such find for 83 years.
Scientists originally thought the monkey, named Rungwecebus kipunji after Mount Rungwe in Tanzania, was a type of mangabey from the genus Lophocebus. However, a more detailed genetic analysis of the animal showed its close connection to baboons.
William Stanley, of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, writes in the journal Science today: "This is exciting news because it shows that the age of discovery is by no means over."
Rungwecebus kipunji is mainly covered in light greyish-brown fur with an off-white patch on its belly and at the end of its curled tail. It also has a crown of long, erect hair. It communicates by making loud, low-pitched honks and eats fruit, leaves, shoots and insects.
When it was first spotted in 2005, experts based their classification of the monkey on photographs alone. But soon afterwards a specimen died in a farmer's trap.
Scientists therefore got a chance to study the animal more closely, including taking muscle tissue samples to extract DNA. To study family links with other primates, they looked at the animal's mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, and the Y-chromosome, which is passed from father to son.
The analysis revealed that the kipunji is more closely related to baboons in the genus Papio, rather than the Lophocebus to which it was originally assigned.
John Oates, a primatologist from Hunter College, New York, said: "To find, in the 21st century, an entirely new species of large monkey living in the wild is surprising enough.
"To find one that can be placed in a new genus, and that sheds new light on the evolutionary history of the monkeys of Africa and Eurasia as a whole, is truly remarkable.
"The discovery also reinforces the view that mountains in southern Tanzania have played an important, and until recently unexpected, role as a refuge for many species long extinct elsewhere."
The monkeys are already endangered, living in 16 small groups of up to 36 animals each in the Rungwe-Livingstone forest and the Ndundulu forest reserve. Their natural predators include crowned eagles and leopards. But human activities such as logging, charcoal making and poaching are also a threat to the animals' long-term survival. Locals have also been known to hunt and kill kipunji for food.

assign- przypisywać
by no means- w żaden sposób
charcoal- węgiel drzewny
curled- zakręcony
erect- prosty, wyprostowany
extinct- wymarły ( o gatunku)
extract- pobrać
genus- klasa, rodzaj
honk- krzyk
logging- wycinka (lasu)
low-pitched- niski (o dźwięku, głosie)
mangabey- large agile arboreal monkey with long limbs and tail and white upper eyelids
originally- początkowo
poaching- kłusownictwo
primate- ssak z rzędu naczelnych
reclusive- pustelniczy
refuge- azyl, schronienie
reinforce- wzmacniać
reveal- ujawniać
sample - próbka
shed new light on- rzucać nowe światło na
shoot- pęd, kiełek
species- gatunek
specimen- okaz, przedstawiciel gatunku
spot- zauważać, spostrzec
tissue- tkanka


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