The world’s newest monkey species was found in a lab, not on an expedition

The discovery of the Popa langur, a medium-sized leaf-eating monkey found in central Myanmar, was recently announced by scientists. It is estimated there are just 200 to 250 of these monkeys, which will likely mean the new species is classed as “critically endangered.” This find was announced just a week or so after two new species of greater glider – a gliding marsupial – were identified in Australia. But what do scientists mean when they announce the discovery of “new” mammalian species? Were these animals really unknown to science?



a monkey sitting on a tree branch: The Popa langur (Trachypithecus popa) is named after the sacred Mount Popa, which holds the largest population of the species with just over 100 animals.


© Provided by Live Science
The Popa langur (Trachypithecus popa) is named after the sacred Mount Popa, which holds the largest population of the species with just over 100 animals.

While discoveries such as the langur and the gliders are certainly exciting, it is important to clarify that these were not previously unseen species uncovered by some intrepid explorer. Rather, these

Read More

Scientists Make Monkey Brains Bigger

monkey brain

Heide et al./ MPI-CBG/Getty

  • Scientists introduced a human gene, ARHGAP11B, into monkey fetuses.
  • The gene caused an increase in the size of the monkey brains, including folding similar to that of human brains.
  • The study poses some serious ethical questions on genetic engineering.

    In an experiment that could portend a real-life Planet of the Apes situation, scientists spliced human genes into the fetus of a monkey to substantially increase the size of the primate’s brain. And it worked.

    Dive deeper. ➡ Get unlimited access to the weird world of Pop Mech.

    Researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany and Japan’s Central Institute for Experimental Animals introduced a specifically human gene, ARHGAP11B, into the fetus of a common marmoset monkey, causing the enlargement of its brain’s neocortex. The scientists reported their findings in Science.

    This content is imported from

    Read More