Monday, October 1, 2012

New African Monkey

Science Daily reports on a monkey previously unknown to science. It's the second African monkey to be "discovered" in 28 years.


Conservation biologist John Hart heard that a schoolmaster's daughter at the edge of a forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had an unusual pet monkey known locally as a "lesula." Hart tracked its growth for 19 months, and then observed individuals in the wild. The lesula spends most of its time on the ground foraging in small groups.

The Guardian describes the face as sensitive and intelligent, "like it is sitting for its portrait by Rembrandt. It reveals a staggeringly insightful, wise, and melancholy face. Like Rembrandt's son Titus in the portrait of him by his father that hangs in London's Wallace Collection, the lesula looks right back at its beholder, calm and pensive, examining you as you examine it. Its eyes have the depth and frankness of those seen in moving portraits on Roman-era mummies from the Fayoum, or in Antonello da Messina's haunting portrait of a man gazing back out of a glassy oil panel."

11 comments:

June said...

That face is something special, isn't it? You feel you are communicating, and reaching into its soul. There seems a serene understanding going on.

Anonymous said...

beautiful, expressive eyes!!

etc, etc said...

It's thinking, "I wish I could poop right now; I'd throw it at you."

Mark Heng said...

Woah! At first glance, I thought it must be some kind of Photoshop hoax!

Janet Oliver said...

I think it looks like Gene Wilder.

K_tigress said...

What a hansom fellow. Kind of nice that there are still mysteries to be found out in the world and beyond.

JeanTraveling said...

I thought the same thing as Mark Heng.

Thanks for the other links as well. Titus is breathtaking.

And thanks for your blog which never fails to delight and inform. You do an amazing job with it.

Keith Parker said...

I think the most fasinating aspect of this story is that we are still discovering the world around us. You expect to hear new bug or fungi discovered but a monkey?!! That's really cool.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the botched fresco job

william said...

Makes you wonder about some cryptozoological animals. Up until the end of the 19th century Pandas were considered semi-mythical animals (called a zouyu, or "righteous" animal, thought only to exist during the reigns of benevolent monarches). Gorillas, as a scientific animal species, were not categorized until 1867, and mountain gorillas were not discovered until 1902. Makes you wonder what else is out there.

bill said...

I just think it's great that we're finding new animals instead of only killing off those that we already know.

I got hit by monkey poop at the zoo once etc, etc.