THE SKYWALKER HOOLOCK GIBBON
THERE has recently been a discovery of a new species of ape, the Skywalker hoolock gibbon.
The name was given to this ape because the new Star Wars film had just come out and the scientists who discovered it were massive fans.
Dr Sam Turvey from the Zoological Society of London was part of the team studying the apes. He said: “In this area, so many species have declined or gone extinct because of habitat loss, hunting and general human overpopulation. So it’s an absolute privilege to see something as special and as rare as a gibbon in a canopy in a Chinese rainforest, and especially when it turns out that the gibbons are actually a new species previously unrecognised by science.”
Hoolock gibbons are found in Bangladesh, India, China and Myanmar. They spend most of their time living in the treetops, swinging through the forests with their forelimbs, and rarely spending any time on the ground.
But a research team started to suspect that the animals they were studying in China’s Yunnan Province were unusual compared to normal-looking hoolock gibbons.
All hoolock gibbons have white eyebrows, but these had certain facial patterns that distinguished them from others. Their mating calls are also different from regular hoolock gibbons, making them a new species – the Skywalker hoolock gibbon!