Monday, March 09, 2015

Exciting new species - as usual

If this blog has a purpose, it's to remind people there are still discoveries to make in the natural universe, from Earth's jungles to the remotest stars.

So we have some things to celebrate!

First, from Myanmar, welcome back Jerdon's babbler (Chrysomma altirostre altirostre). This bird, perhaps overlooked because it's one of the hundreds of species ornithologists refer to, sometimes despairingly, as LBJs (little brown jobs), vanished 73 years ago.  Scientists have just published the news that they rediscovered the bird last year in the Bago region of Myanmar.  They targeted it by looking for patches of suitable habitat (grassland, in this case)  in the known range that had not been logged, burned, developed, or otherwise ravaged in the interim.

Now we've got even bigger news, a new primate. There are over 30 species of the diminutive monkeys called titis (genus Callicebus) in South America.  The largest are not even a half-meter long, and several species look considerably alike (known as cryptid species), all of which makes discovery a challenge. Nevertheless, the challenge has been met.  Welcome Callicebus miltoni, unmistakable with its long orange tail.

I can't find non-copyrighted photos of either yet, but follow the links and meet our new (and old) neighbors!

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