Monday, July 19, 2010

Primate Feared Extinct Photographed In Sri Lanka

horton plains slender lorisThe first ever pictures of the Horton Plains slender loris, a rare and endangered breed of primate that had long been thought extinct, have been captured by scientists at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), according to a Monday press release from the conservation organization.

According to the ZSL, there were only four sightings of this loris subspecies from 1939 through 2002, which led many scientists to believe that they had all died out. However, as part of the ZSL's "Edge of Existence" program, researchers were able to snap the world's first photograph of a Horton Plains slender loris--officially known as Loris tardigradus nycticeboides.

The photographed subject is an adult male, roughly 8 inches long, with short limbs and thick fur.

The pictures come after more than 200 hours of work, as ZSL researchers conducted over 1,000 evening surveys in a Sri Lankan forest area in search of the nocturnal, wide-eyed primate. Furthermore, according to Andrew Hough of the Telegraph, they were able to capture and measure three live subjects, despite the belief that there are only 60-100 such creatures still alive today.

Full story here.

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