The backgroundThe lesula. Photocredit: keepthecontent
For the first time in nearly thirty years, a new species of monkey has been identified. In the Democratic Republic of Congo the “lesula” was identified when scientists saw a young female in a cage in the town of Opala. The new monkey is called Cercopithecus lomaminsis. The monkeys live in an area estimated at about 6,500 square miles; this is a reltaively small area, which might make them vulnerable. The monkey was first seen in 2007, but is now classified as a new species. The species was formally described as such: “A mane of long grizzled blond hairs frames a protruding pale, naked face and muzzle, with a variably distinct cream-coloured vertical nose stripe,” quoted on the BBC..
“We did not expect to find a new species, especially in a group as well known as the African guenons,” said Dr John Hart of the Lukuru Foundation, which made the discovery, quoted on the BBC.
Instant celebrity status
This is a “heartbreakingly beautiful portrait,” said Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. This monkey will gain “instant celebrity status,” since it shows “a sensitivity and intelligene that makes this monkey look like it is sitting for its portrait by Rembrandt.” Somehow, this monkey is human, “like looking in a magical mirror.” Say hello to the lesula: “This monkey may be new to human catalogues but its profound and tragic gaze suggests it knows us of old.”
Enormous blue bottom
The Register enthused about the monkey’s “’extensive’ bright blue bottom.” It has “a pink face, golden throat, massive whiskers and a vertical white stripe up its nose, which gives it some resemblance to the already well known owl-faced monkey.” Its buttocks, though, are bigger than even the “enormous and glaring posterior of the Mandrill.”