Weekly Current Affairs

Rare primate sighted in Arunachal Pradesh [Biodiversity]

  • A group of wildlife photographers and biologists in India have reported sighting of a new species of primate, the White-Cheeked Macaque, in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The group from China, led by Cheng Li formally reported the discovery of the species, from bordering south eastern Tibet.
  • Macaques, which are distant cousins of langurs and gibbons, are a hard catch and when reported by Dr. Li, it was only the third macaque ever discovered since 1903. The Mentawai macaque (Macaca pagensis) was found in Indonesia in 1903 and Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) in 2005. The new species becomes the 22nd known macaque species and the 9th in India.
  • It has several distinguishing characteristics from similar-looking macaque species, such as the Rhesus Macaque, Arunachal Macaque, Tibetan macaque and Assamese macaque.
  • They have an even fur, a relatively-hairless short tail, prominent pale to white sideand chin-whiskers creating a white cheek and round facial appearance, dark facial skin on the muzzle, long and thick hair on its neck, and a round male genitalia.