Scientists claim new gibbon species _ name it Skywalker

Scientists claim new gibbon species _ name it Skywalker

Found in China's Yunnan Province, these primates boast somewhat different markings - and sing a slightly different tune - than their fellow gibbons, which is what tipped scientists off to the fact that they were an entirely new species.

In fact, the animal (which has been studied for some time but has only now been confirmed to be different to all other gibbons) has a full name of the Skywalker hoolock gibbon, based both on the scientists' Star Wars fandom and the fact that the Chinese characters of its scientific name means "Heaven's Movement" (Hoolock tianxing).

One of the reasons why the researchers chose to name the gibbon after Luke Skywalker was because the Chinese characters of the ape's scientific name translate to "Heaven's Movement". "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 unrecognized by science".

The proposed new species is called the Skywalker hoolock gibbon or Gaoligong hoolock gibbon.

Gibbons are renowned for their loud song, which they use to mark territory, and this also sounded unusual. They also estimate that only about 200 such Skywalker hoolock gibbons exist in China (making them, potentially, an endangered species), although more can also be found in neighboring Myanmar.



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