'Elvis' monkey and psychedelic gecko found

The animals, new to science but known to the local people along the Mekong river, were among 208 species discovered.

    A monkey with what has been described as an "Elvis" hairdo, a female lizard that reproduces through cloning, and a pyschedelic gecko are among 208 new species indentified last year by scientists in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia.

    The species described in Monday's announcement come from a biodiverse region threatened by deforestation, habitat loss, overdevelopment, and climate change the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a report.

    The "pyschedelic gecko" is native to southern Vietnam. The nose-less monkey, nick-named "Snubby," appears to be wearing the pompadour made famous by American singer Elvis Presley and more recently by R&B stars Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae. The monkey comes from a remote province of Myanmar.

    "While this species, sporting an Elvis-like hairstyle, is new to science, the local people of Myanmar know it well," the Switzerland-based group said in its report. Locals in northern Myanmar often see monkey in the rain with its head between its knees.

    The Mekong river region, parts of which was recently affected by massive flooding in Thailand, is home to some of the world's most endangered species, including tigers, Asian elephants, Mekong dolphins and Mekong giant catfish, the group said.

    The Mekong flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    "This is a region of extraordinary richness in terms of biodiversity but also one that is extremely fragile," said Sarah Bladen, communications director for WWF Greater Mekong. "It's losing biodiversity at a tragic rate."

    In October, WWF announced Vietnam has lost its last Javan rhinoceros, making the 40 to 60 Javan rhinos living in Indonesia the last remaining members of their species.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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