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New orangutan species discovered in Sumatra

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Interesting that they are still finding unknown species of primates. Wonder when they are going to find yetis and sasquatches.

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4 minutes ago, fred_mc said:

Interesting that they are still finding unknown species of primates. Wonder when they are going to find yetis and sasquatches.

No time soon. The new species of orangutan were 'hiding' in plain sight. 

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11 minutes ago, Ozymandias said:

No time soon. The new species of orangutan were 'hiding' in plain sight. 

Yeah this seems like it's really more a case of "we thought these Orangutans were the same as the others, just with some variation, but after looking at the genome it turns out they are a different species" rather than "these things were never seen before! Completely new, unexpected creature!"

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This isn't so much a discovery as it is a recognition. This particular population of orangutans has been known since the 30's, but they were long thought to be Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii). Only now have they been realized to be a distinct species, the Tapanuli orangutan (P. tapanuliensis).

Link to the paper: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(17)31245-9

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How sad that it may soon be extinct

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1 hour ago, Orphalesion said:

Yeah this seems like it's really more a case of "we thought these Orangutans were the same as the others, just with some variation, but after looking at the genome it turns out they are a different species" rather than "these things were never seen before! Completely new, unexpected creature!"

Exactly!

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1 hour ago, taniwha said:

How sad that it may soon be extinct

The scientists may be looking in the wrong direction.  The optimist would say the species is so new that that are only around 800.  Why do we always assume newly discovered species are going extinct?

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13 minutes ago, paperdyer said:

The scientists may be looking in the wrong direction.  The optimist would say the species is so new that that are only around 800.  Why do we always assume newly discovered species are going extinct?

The Tapanuli orangutan is in danger of going extinct. From the paper:

Quote

With a census size of fewer than 800 individuals, P. tapanuliensis is the least numerous of all great ape species. Its range is located around 100 km from the closest population of P. abelii to the north. A combination of small population size and geographic isolation is of particularly high conservation concern, as it may lead to inbreeding depression and threaten population persistence. Highlighting this, we discovered extensive runs of homozygosity in the genomes of both P. tapanuliensis individuals, pointing at the occurrence of recent inbreeding.

To ensure long-term survival of P. tapanuliensis, conservation measures need to be implemented swiftly. Due to the rugged terrain, external threats have been primarily limited to road construction, illegal clearing of forests, hunting, killings during crop conflict, and trade in orangutans. A hydroelectric development has been proposed recently in the area of highest orangutan density, which could impact up to 8% of P. tapanuliensis’s habitat. This project might lead to further genetic impoverishment and inbreeding, as it would jeopardize chances of maintaining habitat corridors between the western and eastern range, as well as smaller nature reserves, all of which maintain small populations of P. tapanuliensis.

 

Edited by Carnoferox
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It should just evolve instead of dying off. ROFL

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That forest needs to be protected, now! Stop already with killing off our fellow earth inhabitants.  I hope that someday more humans care about our planet. 

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On 02/11/2017 at 5:49 PM, Ozymandias said:

No time soon. The new species of orangutan were 'hiding' in plain sight. 

So just like Bigfoot, then.

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58 minutes ago, Black Monk said:

So just like Bigfoot, then.

Hardly. Bigfoot definitely is not in plain sight, hidden or otherwise.

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