Scientists Find Monkeys Thought to Be Extinct

And they weren't even looking for them

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2012 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Scientists have stumbled upon a monkey many thought no longer existed. Seeking leopards and orangutans, the researchers placed camera traps in an Indonesian forest. When they checked the pictures, they were astonished to see images of large gray monkeys none had ever seen before, the AP reports. Photographs of the Miller's Grizzled Langur are nearly impossible to find, so the researchers could only compare the images to museum sketches.

Says a lead researcher, "We were all pretty ecstatic, the fact that, wow, this monkey still lives, and also that it's in Wehea" forest, on the island of Borneo—where the white-collared monkeys had never been recorded before. The monkeys' old forest homes were lost to fires and human intervention; the creatures had also been heavily hunted. A 2005 effort to find the animals was unsuccessful; now, there are some 4,000 pictures of them from two months of work. Next, scientists plan to attempt to count them.

A Miller's Grizzled Langur sits on a tree branch in Wehea forest in eastern Borneo, Indonesia.
A Miller's Grizzled Langur sits on a tree branch in Wehea forest in eastern Borneo, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Ethical Expeditions, Eric Fell)
A Miller's Grizzled Langur sits on the forest floor in Wehea forest in eastern Borneo, Indonesia.
A Miller's Grizzled Langur sits on the forest floor in Wehea forest in eastern Borneo, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Ethical Expeditions, Eric Fell)
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