Meet the New Monkey
Scientists have discovered a new monkey in Brazil. The tiny animal is about the size of a squirrel. It weighs seven-and-a-half ounces and is only nine inches tall. The mini-monkey's fur is mostly gray and brown. It has a spotted back that looks like a saddle. It also has a very long tail.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the discovery on July 7. The group says that finding new types of mammals is quite rare. Most mammals are warm-blooded animals. They have fur or hair on their skin. Mammals also have a skeleton inside their bodies.
"We keep finding new types of plants, insects, and butterflies," said an official with WCS. "But it is more and more difficult to find newer types of mammals."
Scientists found the little monkey in the rain forests located in the Brazilian state of Amazonas (am-uh-ZOH-nuhs). They named it Mura's saddleback tamarin, after the Mura Indian tribe whose members live in the same area.
Already in Danger?
The team of researchers who discovered saddleback tamarins isn't yet sure how many live in the area. But researchers may have to do their work fast.
The Brazilian rain forest where the tamarins live is shrinking because of deforestation. Deforestation happens when land is cleared for building projects. A huge section of the tamarins' rain forest has been cleared to build a highway. People who work to protect wildlife are alarmed about how this highway project will affect the little monkeys.
The shrinking rain forest threatens more than just the tamarins. Scientists believe this area is rich with undiscovered plants and animals. If the building projects continue, the WCS fears that much of the wildlife will not survive.
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