A New Monkey Has Been Discovered

The new species lives in central Africa and has been known to locals as lesula – the new formal name is Cercopithecus lomamiensis. Scientists began investigating these long-nosed, colorful guys in 2007 after researchers spotted the previously unknown species at a village home.

Handout / Reuters

The Lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) is seen in this undated photograph from an article published September 12, 2012 in the science journal PLOS One.

Lesulas have “giant blue backsides,” according to John Hart, one of the researchers who was able to identify the monkeys as a new species. “Bright aquamarine buttocks and testicles. What a signal! That aquamarine blue is really a bright color in forest understory.” Another species, known as the owl-faced monkey, shares this characteristic, and the two were thought to be closely related, but the lesula has “significantly larger incisors” as well as different sounds emitted and a different type of coat. Genetic research shows that the two species split from a common ancestor over two million years ago.

Handout / Reuters

Lesulas.

Hart discovered the monkey living as a sort of pet at the house of a little girl named Georgette. In the village, the monkey was simply known as “Georgette’s lesula.” The little girl is now 18 years old, and although the “animal was very attached to her,” it disappeared a few years back.

Handout / Reuters

Pretty sun-splashed fur.

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