The pygmy marmoset, the world’s smallest ape, is not a cute animal- it is actually two separate species of exceptionally cute animals.
Evolutionary biologists at the University of Salford in the UK have applied genome sequencing on innumerable specimens of this pygmy marmoset to study their evolutionary record. Their DNA showed that there are actually two separate species of Cebuella that differed from one another around 2-3 million years ago- one from the northern part of the Amazon River, one from the south.
The study was lately published in the technical gazette Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
Native to the rainforest of the countries of the western Amazon Basin, this bug-munching marmoset weighs a little over 100 grams( 3.5 ounces) and is about the size of a doll figurine. German ecologist Johann Spix first described the species back in 1823, however, his study been the subject of some polemic in the marmoset-studying world.
“There has long been disorder over the taxonomy of these wonderful beings mainly because Spix did not record in his advance diaries the exact location where he obtained the kind of Cebuella pygmaea in the early 1800 s, ” Jean Boubli, prof of tropical ecology and management, at Salford University, said in a statement. “That establishes disorder as to which of the two recently discovered species should keep the original figure; that of the north or of the south of the Amazon.”
“The beauty of genomics means that we can now investigate the pygmy marmoset is a word for two species which have been evolving independently for practically 3 million years.”
So, what’s discrepancies between these two? The occurrence for these marmosets being two different species relied on hard genomic attest, but you can notice some differences between the species even with the naked gaze. For one, the north-of-the-river marmosets tend to be lighter, with the southerners having darker tinged striped patterns.
This new discovery could be a game changer for conservationists, it effectively means that the known population numbers have been halved overnight because the species has been abruptly split in two. Although the pygmy marmosets are species rostered as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, recent illnes outbreaks have motivated primate experts at the IUCN to recommend updating that status to “Vulnerable.”
Being divided by a river, or any other geographical boast, is a common course in which populations of swine can get stock split and eventually evolve into two different species. One of the most interesting examples of this is chimps and bonobos. These two great apes split from each other on the evolutionary tree around 2 million years ago as a direct result of the Congo River forming.