A new species of monkey with a red, bushy beard (pictured) has been discovered in the Colombian section of the Amazon rain forest, conservationists announced today.
A scientist first glimpsed Callicebus caquetensis—a type of titi monkey—in the 1960s. But political strife in the southern Caquetá Province (see map) kept scientists away until 2008, when an expedition finally confirmed the bearded monkey as a new species. (See "New Monkey Species Found in Remote Amazon.")
The cat-size primate is "fascinating" because it mates for life, an unusual trait among monkeys, said expedition leader Thomas Defler, a primatologist at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. Pairs are often spotted sitting on branches with their tails intertwined.
A typical Caquetá titi couple has a baby every year, and the father handles most of the infant's care, other than nursing, Defler noted. It's unknown why the dad does most of the work, but there's likely an evolutionary advantage, he said. (See more pictures of devoted animal dads.)
The discovery, funded by Conservation International's Primate Action Fund and Conservation International Colombia, was detailed online August 12 in the journal Primate Conservation.