A new species of monkey has been identified in Africa, only the second time such a discovery has been made on the continent in 28 years. The identification of the monkey in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is significant, as identification of mammals new to science is rare.
Lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) has a naked face and a mane of long blond hairs, and is described by the researchers who identified it as shy and quiet. It lives on the ground and in trees in a 6,500 square mile habitat of the lowland rainforests in the centre of the DRC between the middle Lomami (the inspiration for its name) and the upper Tshuapa Rivers. Its diet is mostly fruit and vegetation.
The last monkey to be discovered in Africa was the kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji) in Tanzania in 2003, nearly two decades after the last find, the sun-tailed monkey (Cercopithecus solatus) in Gabon, in 1984.