Arunachal MacaqueThe Arunachal Macaque (Macaca munzala), a relatively large brown primate with a comparatively short tail, is a macaque native to Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India. Known to the locals as Munzala ("monkey of the deep forest"), it was unknown to scientists until 2004. It is the first species of macaque to have been discovered since 1903 when the Indonesian Pagai Island Macaque was discovered. This monkey was reported on the basis of good quality photograph as holotype.
The Arunchal Macaque is compactly built and has a very dark face. It lives at high altitudes, between 2000 m and 3500 m, making it one of the highest-dwelling primates. It belongs to the sinica species-group of macaques along with the Assamese Macaque (M. assamensis), the Tibetan Macaque (M. thibetana), the Bonnet Macaque (M. radiata) and the Toque Macaque (M. sinica).
The Arunchal Macaque is apparently physically related to the Assam Macaque (M. assamensis) and to the Tibetan Macaque (M. thibetana) while genetically closely related to the Bonnet Macaque (M. radiata) of southern India. This is probably the result of convergent evolution where organisms evolve similar physical features due to similar environmental selection pressure while genetically they may have different origins.
This monkey is severely persecuted in some parts of its known distribution by locals retaliating against crop raiding. Recent surveys suggest that this species may be highly endangered in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
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