Cambridge Monkey Business

27 October 2010, 11:09

Scientists in Cambridge have helped to discover a rare species of monkey that always sneezes when it is raining.

The monkeys have been found in Northern Myanmar, which used to be Burma.

Fauna and Flora International, based in Cambridge, joined a team of primalogoists in a remote part of the country and found the animal with upturned nostrils that fill with water when it rains causing it to sneeze.

The animal has almost entirely black fur with white fur only on ear tufts and chin beard.

It also has a long tail, which is longer than the rest of it's body.

While the species is new to science, the local people know it well and claim that it is very easy to find when it is raining because the monkeys often get rainwater in their upturned noses causing them to sneeze.

To avoid this they spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees.

Dr Tony Htin Hla, who helped discover the animal, said: "“Myanmar is rich in biodiversity but there has been insufficient research to identify all the national priorities, and there are probably still many unknown species to find."

Top right photo - (c)  Dr Thomas Geissmann

Bottom photo - (c) Martin Aveling

Artist Impression - Monkey That Sneezes When Raini

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