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Callicebus caquetensis is the top right. A newly discovered species of titi monkey purrs like a cat and looks like a leprechaun. Although it was first spotted in by biologist Martin Moynihan in the southern Caqueta province of Colombia, frequent armed conflict in the region has prevented scientists from being able to confirm its existence until now.
The new species, named the Caqueta titi monkey or Callicebus caquetensis, is one of about 20 species of titi monkeys, which all live in the Amazon basin, according to primatologist Thomas Defler, who led the expedition that made the discovery announced Aug. The Caqueta titi monkey is being recommended for classification as Critically Endangered. The population size has been estimated at less than individuals, and its habitat has been fragmented by clearing for agricultural land.
Titi monkeys are one of the only species of primate that are monogamous, gibbons being one of the only other ones. Defler raised a couple titi monkeys once, and says that their monogamous behavior causes them to be endearing.
He called one of their behaviors "space saving," where they encourage the other monkey to get closer to them. Baby Caqueta titi monkey "All of the babies purr like cats too," Defler added. Conservation International provided funding for the project.
They spotted the monkey just a few days after they arrived in the region in August They returned to the region in to study the distribution of the species. Defler hopes that the discovery will help lead to the creation of new preserves for the monkey.
Map of the area where a new species of titi monkey was found. See Also:.