Nobody can resist a cute and cuddly monkey, not even the scientists who study and understand them better than anyone. That's why scientists were so thrilled to find a thought to be extinct Miller's grizzled langer alive and well in the tropical jungles of Borneo last June. The furry fellows were caught on film by a camera trap in an eastern area of Borneo, a part of the island outside of their previously known living zone. Scientists often avoid declaring an animal extinct unless it hasn't been seen in 50 years, but a field survey in 2005 came up empty, Primate specialist Anthony Rylands of Conservation International told the Associated Press.
Scientists had set up traps in the area looking for orangutans and leopards who visit the areas mineral salt licks. They were surprised to see the primates in the pictures taken because none of them had seen this variety before, the AP report said. The only way the group of animals could be identified was through sketches people had made for museums, Brent Loken, a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and one of the lead researchers said.
"For me the discovery of this monkey is representative of so many species in Indonesia," Loken told The Associated Press by telephone.
"There are so many animals we know so little about and their home ranges are disappearing so quickly," he said. "It feels like a lot of these animals are going to quickly enter extinction."
The Miller's grizzled langurs are large, gray animals with black faces and hooded eyes, and they were thought to be related to another species found in that part of the world. The scientists now think they may be a distinct species, and they published their findings in the Jan. 20 issue of the American Journal of Primatology