London, Aug 31 IANS | 3 months ago

Conservationists have discovered five new monkey species in South America that have, since, been added to the animal record books.

The five new species were found in locations in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. These are all saki monkeys. Now, there are 16 saki monkeys - known to be beneficial for the environment as they help to disperse seeds in their tropical rain forest habitats.

"Besides being vital for their conservation and survival, the revised scientific description of these sakis is a major step in our understanding of primate diversity in Amazonia and worldwide," said Laura Marsh, director of the Global Conservation Institute in a press release.

"In the 1980s, people believed that there were about 180 species of primates worldwide. Today we have a clearer understanding of the diversity of the mammalian order that gave rise to our own - 496 species and counting," said Anthony Reynolds from Virginia-based Conservation International, a non-profit organisation.

The findings appeared in the journal Neotropical Primates.

(Posted on 31-08-2014)

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