This newly discovered endangered monkey has babies that purr like kittens
In the past four years, scientists have trekked to the Amazon rainforest and identified 441 new species: “258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds, and one mammal.” But there’s only one that we really care about. Surprise: It’s the mammal! God, we’re so classist. But we have a good reason: That mammal is fuzzy monkey … that has babies … that purr.
“All of the babies purr like cats,” said scientist Thomas Defler, who helped discover the species. “When they feel very content they purr towards each other, and the ones we raised would purr to us.”
We wish we had a more rational reaction to this than a full-on Kristen Bell sloth meltdown. But. Purring monkeys. PURRING MONKEYS. Apparently this species, the Callicebus caquetensis, lives in Colombia and was first formally described by scientists in 2010 and how did we not know about this?
Possibly because there aren’t so many nice pictures of them on the internet. (Here are some!) But more likely because these monkeys are extremely endangered — there are maybe fewer than 250 of them. Period. We know we talk a big game sometimes about not letting charismatic species dominate the conversation about conservation, but, really, guys, are we going to let purring monkeys die out?
Get Grist in your inbox