Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A new species is always a big deal to science, a new mammal an even bigger deal, and a new primate rates a full-blown celebration. A beautiful all-white monkey just turned up in the Sri Lankan rain forest. Researchers have confirmed it is not a case of occasional albino specimens but a new color morph of the southern purple faced leaf langur. It has been found in several locations, thanks to information given to scientists by treacle tappers. DNA testing is underway to determine its presumed identity as a new subspecies (a bit of a fuzzy distinction, as there is no real agreement on DNA differences and subspecies) and pin down its range for conservation.