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Facts for Prelims
News: A new species of old world monkey recorded from Arunachal Pradesh has been named after a strategic mountain pass at 13,700 ft above sea level.
• Sela macaque (Macaca selai), the new-to-science primate was identified and analysed by a team of experts from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the University of Calcutta.
• Their study has been published in the latest edition of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Phylogenetics relate to the evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms.
• The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Sela macaque was geographically separated from the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) of Tawang district by Sela.
• This mountain pass acted as a barrier by restricting the migration of individuals of these two species for approximately two million years, the study said.
• Sela is situated between Dirang and Tawang towns in western Arunachal Pradesh.
• The study says the Sela macaque has a tail longer than the Tibetan macaque, Assamese macaque, Arunachal macaque and the white-cheeked macaque but shorter than the bonnet macaque and toque macaque.
• Sela macaque belongs to the sinica species-group of Macaca, but it differs from all other members of this group through attributes such as brown collar hair and muzzle, and the absence of chin whiskers.