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Genomic evidence for an endangered new orangutan species

last modified Nov 06, 2017 08:30 AM

An international team of researchers from several institutes, including the Department of Genetics in Cambridge, has described a new species of ape, the Tapanuli orangutan Pongo tapanuliensis. With less than 800 individuals identified, this species is the most endangered of the great apes.

Tariq Desai and Aylwyn Scally from the Department of Genetics contributed to the evolutionary analyses of gene flow between orangutan species.

The results were published online 3 November 2017 in Current Biology.

Andrew Walmsley orangutan 500

Image credit : Andrew Walmsley [Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme]


>> Read the paper - Nater et al : Morphometric, Behavioral, and Genomic Evidence for a New Orangutan Species. DOI:

>> Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme with news of the discovery

>> News coverage by the BBC

>> News coverage by ITV

>> Scally Group page


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