Welsh scientists help to discover new species of orangutan
A NEW species of orangutan has been discovered by an international team, including researchers from Cardiff University.
The orangutan, now the most endangered great ape on earth, was discovered in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Pongo tapanuliensis, otherwise known as the Tapanuli Orangutan, was found in the three Tapanuli districts of North Sumatra after close analysis of the ape inhabitants of the Batang Toru Ecosystem.
Dr Benoit Goossens from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences said: “The Batang Toru populations of orangutans in Sumatra were only rediscovered fairly recently in 1997. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that the researchers received the skeleton of an adult male orangutan that was killed during conflict, and we realised that there were significant physi- cal and genetic differences in these apes. By comparing the skull to other orangutans, it was clear that this skull showed dramatic differences. This suggested that the Batang Toru population was potentially unique.”