Don't Turn Your Nose Up At Me!: New Snub Nose Monkey Discovered, Soon To Be Extinct

October 27, 2010


Seen here looking like the unholy lovechild of Michael and Bubbles, scientists recently discovered a new species of monkey hiding out in the forests of Burma. Wow, that's a face not even a mother could love. Or -- OR -- be faulted for abandoning by a log. No wonder they're almost extinct already.

But with only an estimated 260 to 330 individuals alive, Rhinopithecus strykeri is already critically endangered, the discoverers report online today in the American Journal of Primatology. Locals call the creature "mey nwoah" or "myuk na tok te," meaning "monkey with an upturned nose." Popular legend says the monkeys' uplifted nostrils make them sneeze when it rains, so they endure downpours by tucking their heads between their knees.

The animals are so rare that primatologists have yet to glimpse one alive. Instead, they relied on information from hunters and carcasses to estimate their numbers and create the image above using Photoshop. Although not a key game species, the monkeys often get caught in bear traps, and the influx of Chinese logging companies is further jeopardizing their habitat, the researchers say.

Wow, that second paragraph got real sad, real quick, didn't it? It sure did.

ScienceShot: Newest Monkey Species Allergic to Rain? [sciencemag]

Thanks to Shenanigans and John, who agree they should all be forced to wear fake honkers like the Proboscis does.

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