Scientists have discovered a new monkey species in the mountain forests of Burma. 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. Although other species of snub-nosed monkeys inhabit China and Vietnam, this is the first found in Burma. 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.
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