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New Orangutan Species Discovered

An enigmatic population of apes discovered in the jungles of Sumatra have been determined to be an entirely new species of orangutan!

First found on the island in 1997, the creatures have studied by scientists ever since and, after two decades, it is now believed that they constitute their own species of great ape.

This conclusion was derived via an exhaustive DNA analysis which indicated that a unique species of the apes had separately developed from other Sumatran orangutans thousands of years ago.

And, as 'luck' would have it, one of these newfound apes happened to be killed by villagers back in 2003, allowing researchers the chance to examine the remains of the animal.

To their surprise, they noticed that the cranium of the creature was significantly different from the two other species of orangutans known to science.

Beyond the genetic and morphological clues, researchers say, were also observations of the creatures in the wild where they have been seen to display their own specific type of call as well as distinctly different fur patterns and types that are unlike other orangutan species.

Taken together, the team of scientists behind the study are confident that they have uncovered the first new great ape species to be found in over a century and have named it the 'Tapanuli orangutan.'

Tragically, however, the paper which proposed the new species also includes the troubling revelation that they appear to be incredibly endangered with only a mere 800 thought to still be in existence today.

And so while the news should give cryptozoologists hope that the Orang Pendek, a legendary cryptid also said to lurk in the Sumatran jungle, could be found someday, the grim population numbers for the Tapanuli orangutan suggest that time is of the essence if it is to ever be found.

That said, considering that today has already seen a landmark Great Pyramid discovery and now this new, Nessie may want to stay below the surface of the water for a while, lest these breakthroughs come in threes and the legendary cryptid wind up harpooned.

Source: The New York Times / The Guardian

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