In India, discovered a hidden species of macaques, formed due to geographic isolation

(ORDO NEWS) — In India, a new species of macaque has been identified in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. An article about this is published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

Macaques are a genus of primates in the marmoset family. Its representatives live in vast areas of Asia and Africa, and in terms of prevalence among primates, they are second only to humans.

In total, more than 20 species of macaques are known in the territory from Morocco to Japan to Polynesia.

All macaques live in relatively large social groups, with groups of some species consisting of 50 or more individuals.

In India, a field study found a cryptic macaque species, a species with little diagnostic evidence. It was named Macaca selai.

This primate has a pale face and brown coat and is most likely descended from the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala), a rare species found in the same region in the early 21st century.

“Macaca selai show strong intraspecific genetic variability. According to our findings, the macaques of the Arunachal region evolved into two separate species 1.96 million years ago through allopatric speciation at the Sela mountain pass,” says Mukesh Thakur of the Zoological Survey of India.

In allopatric speciation, the reproductive barrier between species is formed on the basis of spatial isolation.

The discovery of new species is important for effective biodiversity conservation measures.

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