Friday, October 29, 2010

Specimen swallowed

Burmese hunters find them easier to locate in monsoon season because the raindrops enter their snub noses and make them sneeze, giving away their location. But the only scientifically observed specimen was killed for bush meat by the time primatologists were made aware of it (pictured). Eventually other members of the team did find live snub-nosed monkeys, but the creatures escaped before pictures could be taken. To show what the living creature looks like, they offer a drawing, a Photoshopped composite, and video footage of a similar species.

R. strykeri (better known as "Snubby" to the scientists or "mey nwoah" in the local dialect) has fleshy lips, an upturned nose, black fur, a wispy white beard and ear tufts, and a relatively long tail. It is the 1st of this Old World monkey species to be found in Burma, and has a range of about 100 sq. miles. There may only be 300 of the snub-nosed monkeys left, qualifying them as "critically endangered." Their territory is being encroached on by Chinese logging companies, adding to the threat of being killed for the table - although the locals prefer bear meat.

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