Frontlines | A Rediscovery, a New Species

Courtesy of Luiz Claudio Marigo

Much of the Brazilian Amazon remains accessible only by small boats, including the Rio Negro basin. Here, researchers conducting a long-term mammalian parasite study have rediscovered a forgotten bearded saki primate: Chiropotes israelita.1 Small, dark, and shy, Chiropotes lives high in trees. Its elusive nature and remote habitat contributed to the poor understanding of its taxonomy, says Shawn Lehman, anthropology department, University of Toronto. Now, researchers have learned that C. israelita is its own species.

J.B. von Spix coined the name for C. israelita in 1823. "Later, however, other researchers [such as] Hershkovitz in 1985 [thought] that this species named israelita was actually the same species as C.s. chiropotes [C. satanas]," says Cibele Bonvicino, of the National Institute of Cancer in Rio de Janeiro and the paper's lead author. But, von Spix's detailed description...

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