New monkey species from Africa
A primate species from the family of monkeys (Cercopithecidae), which was first described from Tanzania last year, now forms the completely new genus Rungwecebus.
So far, scientists have only known the species from field observations and pictures and therefore assigned it to the genus Lophocebus with the species name Lophocebus kipunji. Shortly after the first description, however, a local hunter caught one of the animals, so that the researchers led by Tim Davenport from the New York conservation organization Wildlife Conservation Society were able to examine a skull of the monkey and tissue samples.
Genetic analysis revealed that the primate known as the kipunji is more closely related to the baboons of the genus Papio than to the mangabeys of the genus Lophocebus. The skull, however, does not show any features typical of baboons such as an elongated jaw or indentations on the outer sides of the lower jaw, so the species was placed in a separate genus with the name Rungwecebus kipunji.
The name Rungwecebus derives from the distribution area of the species, which according to current knowledge only occurs at Mount Rungwe in Tanzania.