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Elvis ‘Monkey’ And Other New Species Threatened

12/13/2011 09:50 AM ET

Elvis Monkey - Elvis lives today, his hair that is, on a monkey that has the same style hairdo. He’s one of 208 new species discovered in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, in 2011. Scientists also found a multi-colored, psychedelic gecko.

The animals were discovered in a biodiverse region that is threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment, the WWF said in a report.

The World Wildlife Foundation said in a report that the new species are being threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment.

“While this species, sporting an Elvis-like hairstyle, is new to science, the local people of Myanmar know it well,” the Switzerland-based group said in its report.

Some of the world’s most endangered species already live in the Mekong area, which include including tigers, Asian elephants, Mekong dolphins and Mekong giant catfish, the group said.

“This is a region of extraordinary richness in terms of biodiversity but also one that is extremely fragile,” said Sarah Bladen, communications director for WWF Greater Mekong. “It’s losing biodiversity at a tragic rate.”

The Mekong is the world’s 10th-longest river in the world and the 7th-longest in Asia and runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Elvis monkey is a highly threatened species of colobine monkey found in northern Burma. The species is known in local dialects as mey nwoah (monkey with an upturned face). Rain allegedly causes it to sneeze due to the short upturned nasal flesh around its nostrils. People from the area report that it sits with its head directed downwards, hiding its face between its knees when it rains.

The monkey gets its Elvis nickname from the fact that it has a crown that consists of a thin, high, forward-curved crest of long, black hairs.

Related Photos

Another look at the 'Elvis' monkey

The psychedelic gecko (Pic: WWF)

A limestone leaf warbler (Pic: WWF)

A self-cloning lizard (Pic: WWF)

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